THE SUPREME Court has recently directed the CBI to call social activist Anna Hazare as a prosecution witness in the murder trial of Congress leader Pawanraje Nimbalkar.
A bench of Justice S A Bobde and Justice S Abdul Nazeer said on April 29, “Having regard to the circumstances of the case, we consider it appropriate to direct the prosecution to call Shri Kisan Baburao Hazare (Anna Hazare) as a witness for the prosecution.”
Nimbalkar’s wife Anandidevi Nimbalkar had moved the Bombay High Court, challenging the order of sessions court exempting Hazare from being examined as a prosecution witness. Her application had stated that Hazare was an important witness in the case, as he knew about the conspiracy hatched by former state minister and NCP leader Padamsinh Patil to kill Nimbalkar in 2006. It also alleged that Patil had also conspired to kill Hazare.
In October, 2018, the HC had rejected the plea, while observing that Hazare’s statement is not relevant, as it does not pertain to the incident in question. Following this, Anandidevi had moved the Supreme Court.
Before Anandidevi moved the HC, CBI filed an application before the trial court, seeking examination of Hazare to prove the motive behind the crime. The trial court, however, had rejected the application, stating that the prosecution may skip Hazare’s examination.