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Rajni Patil case: Court pulls up CBI
July 17, 2007 17:58 IST
The Bombay high court on Tuesday pulled up the Central bureau of Investigation for not investigating allegations made by Rajni Patil, the wife of murdered Congress worker Vishram Patil, against two persons including the brother of presidential candidate Pratibha Patil.
The division bench of Justices R M S Khandeparkar and S R Sathe adjourned the matter to July 30 as the investigating officer was not present in court and Additional Solicitor General B A Desai had failed to reply on behalf of the CBI. "Is the intelligence of the institution corroding?" Justice Khandeparkar asked. "It is essential they carry out their duty diligently and effectively," he said.
Rajni's lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani told the court that nothing much was done after the murder case was transferred to the CBI. "In fact, CDs of the petitioner's statement recorded by the CBI on April 7 have still not been collected from her," he said.
Vishram Patil was president of the Jalgaon district committee of the Congress when he was murdered on September 21, 2005. Jethmalani submitted some CDs to the court, stating that they contained a video recording of a Congress party meet that purportedly showed the association of Pratibha Patil's brother G N Patil, a party worker from Jalgaon, and another party associate and suspect Ulhaas Patil with the contract killers in custody. Jethmalani said both the suspects had submitted in their statements that they did not know the alleged contract killers Raju Mali and Raju Sonawane. Mali died in judicial custody in April. Jethmalani has asked for scientific tests to be conducted on Sonawane and two others, Liladhar Narkhade and Damodar Lokhande, who allegedly hired the killers but were discharged in the case.
Rajni Patil has also alleged that Pratibha Patil has been influencing and subverting the investigation of the case to shield her brother.
She has alleged that her husband had complained to the state Congress unit about the misappropriation of funds collected for tsunami relief by G N Patil and Ulhaas Patil before Vishram Patil's murder.
Vishram Patil, who defeated G N Patil in the election for the post of district Congress committee president, had also complained to senior party leaders about the duo for allegedly misappropriating funds collected for felicitating Pratibha Patil when she became the governor of Rajasthan.
According to Rajni, the murder was a consequence of political rivalry. The court has asked the investigation officer to be present in court when the case comes up for hearing again on July 30.