Social activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday deposed before a special court in Mumbai as a prosecution witness in the 2006 murder case of Congress leader Pawanraje Nimbalkar.
Former Lok Sabha MP Padamsinh Patil is the key accused in the case.
Hazare, in his deposition before the trial court of judge Anand Yawalkar, said he knew Patil as an elected representative.
“There were allegations of corruption against him, for which I did an agitation and after that the government formed a commission under retired Supreme Court judge P B Sawant to inquire the matter,” Hazare told the court.
“I learnt about the murder of Nimbalkar through media. I also came to know through a media report that a contract was given to the shooters to kill me, following which I registered a case in this connection at Parner police station (in Ahmednagar district),” the anti-corruption crusader said.
His deposition came after the Supreme Court, setting aside a Bombay High Court order, recently directed the CBI to make Hazare a prosecution witness in the case.
The high court last year dismissed a plea of the deceased Congress leader’s wife Anandidevi Nimbalkar, seeking to make Hazare a witness in the case.
The high court then said it did not find anything to show that Hazare’s evidence would be useful to the case.
The deceased’s wife in her application claimed Hazare was an important witness as he was aware of the conspiracy hatched by the prime accused and former state minister Padamsinh Patil to kill the Congress leader.
Pawanraje Nimbalkar and his driver Samad Kazi were found shot dead inside the Congress leader’s car near Kalamboli on the Mumbai-Pune Express Highway on June 3, 2006.
The trial in the case began in July 2011.
According to the CBI, Patil hatched the conspiracy “to kill Nimbalkar out of political rivalry”.
The others accused in the case are Latur-based businessman Satish Mandade, corporator Mohan Shukla, Parasmal Jain, former state excise inspector Shashikant Kulkarni, Bahujan Samaj Party worker Kailash Yadav and alleged shooters Dinesh Tiwari, Pintu Singh and Chote Pandey.
In November 2012, the Supreme Court transferred the case to Mumbai from Alibaug as many of the witnesses turned hostile.