A key witness in the murder of Jalgaon District Congress Committee (DCC)’s president, Vishram Patil, has alleged that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) threatened her to depose as per the agency’s instructions.
Rekha Mali, wife of deceased accused Raju Mali, filed an affidavit in the trial court at Jalgaon last week alleging that some CBI officers and their advocate threatened her outside the court on September 4.
Patil was found murdered on September 21, 2005. The alleged motive was intra-party rivalry between him and G.N. Patil (President Pratibha Patil’s brother) and another member Ulhas Patil, as G.N. Patil narrowly lost the DCC poll to the former. Vishram’s widow, Rajni, had approached the high court and the Supreme Court seeking to make G.N. Patil an accused in the case.
Mali’s affidavit alleges that on the last date of hearing, CBI officers and the counsel told her she should record her statement as per their instructions.
Her three-page affidavit in Marathi states some CBI officers came to her house and said her statement would be recorded by the trial court on September 4 and asked her to remain present. She went to the court with her brother Bhaskar Mahajan.
When the proceedings started, the CBI counsel told the court that the witness (Mali) had not come. A court clerk said they have been in the court since morning. Mali’s affidavit states CBI officers asked her to come to their guesthouse in the morning (on the date if the hearing) and threatened her to depose as per their instructions. She has sought the court to direct CBI officers not to trouble her.
Her March affidavit alleges the CBI has fabricated her statement attached with the chargesheet filed by the investigation agency.
Her affidavit said she had gone to meet G.N. Patil who asked her to come after 90 days. Her earlier affidavit had alleged that the CBI harasses her and her relatives.
A senior CBI official, who did not wish to speak on record since the matter is sub judice, confirmed such affidavits were filed. “We will follow the due process of law and file a reply if the court asks us to,” said the officer.