Madhya Pradesh High Court has directed the city police to trace Dilip Patidar, a witness in the Malegaon bomb blast case, and submit a detailed report about his whereabouts within a week before it.
The order was issued by a bench comprising Justices N K Modi and I S Shrivastava in Indore on Thursday while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by Patidar's brother Ramswaroop more than a year ago.
It directed Senior Superintendent of Police D Srinivas Rao to trace Patidar and submit a detailed report about his whereabouts by May 6, the day of next hearing.
Patidar is mysteriously missing ever since a team of Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) from Mumbai picked him up from his house near Bengali Chouraha here in November 2008.
He was living on rent in the house of Ramji Kalsangra, an absconding accused in the September 2008 Malegaon blast. In his petition, Ramswaroop had alleged that either Patidar is in illegal custody of Mumbai ATS or he has lost his life due to torture in its custody.
ATS officials have, however, denied the charge and told the court that Patidar had come to Mumbai on his own to record his statement in connection with the Malegaon case.
They said Patidar had also expressed his desire to give his statement in a Maharashtra court.
The officials said Patidar was asked to bring documents to prove his identity and left the ATS office in Mumbai on November 18, 2008, but did not return.