The special court hearing the alleged fake encounters case of Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati, has issued a showcause notice to the Udaipur SP, seeking an explanation as to why guards were not provided to escort a key witness to court on Tuesday.
The key witness is currently lodged in the Udaipur jail. An official from the Udaipur jail appeared before the court stating that the witness, who was expected to appear as a prosecution witness, could not be sent, as guards from the reserve police line were not allotted to bring him to Mumbai.
Special Judge S J Sharma said despite sending requests and a production warrant, the SP had not provided guards to bring the witness. He said the SP should respond explaining the non-compliance of the court orders despite having knowledge of them.
Earlier, the wife of the witness had said he was being threatened to give a statement favouring the accused. She had thus requested that he be brought to the court under tight security.
She had said when she had met her husband in custody, after he was arrested earlier this month, he told her that he was ready to give evidence in the court, but was being threatened with dire consequences for speaking against the accused policemen facing trial in the case and the 16 accused discharged from the case. The witness was a co-accused of Sohrabuddin and Tulsiram in the alleged murder of a man named Hamid Lala.
The court issued a new production warrant to bring the witness before it within this week and said the failure to provide guards would be viewed seriously and reported to the Bombay High Court.
The court said: “Despite having knowledge of the court order, the witness was not brought to court for the recording of his evidence. Issue showcause notice to SP as to why contempt of court proceedings for disobedience of the court order should not be initiated against him.”
Meanwhile, the CBI informed the court that Narmadabai, the mother of Tulsiram, is ‘not traceable’.