A Jalgaon court Monday summoned as accused G N Patil, brother of former president Pratibha Patil, in connection with the trial in the murder of Congress leader Vishram Patil in 2005.
“The court has summoned him as accused under section 309 (Criminal Procedure Code). This is during the trial, after the evidence has been led,” said senior lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani, who had represented Vishram’s widow Rajni in the Bombay High Court. Rajni had moved the High Court in 2007, seeking the implication of G N Patil as an accused in her husband’s murder.
Under section 309, a court can issue summons to a person during a trial after perusing the evidence before it. If the material before the court points towards the complicity of a person, who is not already named as an accused in the case, the court can summon that person as an accused in the case. The court can initiate such a step suo motu or the prosecution can file an application under section 309 urging the court to take such a step.
Rajni, who had moved the High Court seeking that G N Patil be named as an accused, had alleged that her husband Vishram, a professor, had defeated G N Patil in the district Congress Committee election and G N Patil had orchestrated his murder owing to political rivalry. Vishram, who was allegedly stabbed to death on September 21, 2005, was the president of the committee.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had charge-sheeted four accused in the case. It had, however, told the High Court that it had found no evidence against G N Patil. The CBI had named Raju Mali, Raju Sonawane, Damodar Lokhande and Liladhar Narkhede as accused in the case.
Rajni had alleged that while Mali and Sonawane were the assailants, Lokhande and Narkhede were the intermediaries who had paid contract money to the duo at the instance of G N Patil and Ulhas Patil, another Congressman.