A Rajasthan court here Saturday rejected the bail plea filed by Congress legislator Malkhan Singh Bishnoi, arrested for his alleged involvement in the murder of nurse Bhanwari Devi, a lawyer said.
Bhanwari Devi, who featured in a CD in a compromising position with sacked Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna, had gone missing from Jodhpur’s Bilara area Sep 1 last year. Maderna has also been arrested in the case.
“The legislator from Luni constituency had filed an application in the special court for Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Scheduled Caste (SC) cases. The court rejected his application today (Saturday),” said CBI’s special public prosecutor Ashok Joshi.
Meanwhile, Maderna, Malkhan and 14 other accused were produced in the same court for hearing on the framing of charges against them.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in its charge sheet filed in the court earlier said three men – Shahabuddin, Sohan Lal and Baldev Jat alias Balia – kidnapped Bhanwari from Bilara in Jodhpur rural area on Sep 1, allegedly at the behest of Maderna and Malkhan, killed her and then handed over her body to a gang of criminals headed by Bishnaram.
The gang burnt the body to ashes and dumped her remains in a canal.
The CBI also claimed in the charge sheet that Bhanwari was blackmailing Maderna and Malkhan, the two most powerful politicians in the region, on the basis of a CD showing both in a compromising position with her.
In the opening statement Monday, the prosecution gave a detailed account of Bhanwari’s life after she became a government auxiliary nurse and midwife. The CBI counsel also narrated the circumstances which drew the nurse close first to Malkhan and then Maderna.
A panel of lawyers appointed by the CBI, including Azaz Khan, Shyam Singh Yadav and Ashok Joshi, made the opening statement.
The CBI had on Feb 29 filed a supplementary charge sheet in the case, naming Maderna as the mastermind behind the nurse’s disappearance and subsequent murder.
The charge sheet contained accounts of 300 witnesses and 313 documents in evidence.
According to the charge sheet, Malkhan Singh had not been given a ministerial birth in the cabinet in 2008 when the Congress came to power and that is why the CD was prepared, which became the foundation of Bhanwari’s kidnapping and murder.