AN ADVOCATE formerly representing Tulsiram Prajapati on Wednesday denied ever being told by him about the threat to his life from policemen. The witness, a 67-year-old advocate practising in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, had represented Tulsiram in three of his cases in a magistrate court there. On Wednesday, the advocate told the court that she was assigned Tulsiram’s cases in 2002 as she was part of the free legal aid panel. She said after he was released on bail in 2002, arrest warrants were issued against him. The witness further told the court that she had seen him in court in 2006, when he was escorted from a prison to court.
“I do not know who he was accompanied by or which jail he had come from. I told him that there was a warrant against him. Maine usko poocha tu kidhar bhagta phirta hai. Usne bola dost ke saath gaya tha, yeh nahi bataya kidhar gaya tha (I asked him why he was not attending court. He told me he had gone with a friend, but did not tell me his whereabouts,” the witness said. The Special public prosecutor asked the witness if she had made any applications for Tulsiram as his advocate. The witness told the court that she had filed a few exemption applications for him as he was not attending court.
In her earlier statement to the CBI, the witness had claimed that in 2006, Tulsiram was produced from Udaipur central jail and that he had revealed to her about threats to his life from policemen as he had witnessed the abduction of his associate, Sohrabuddin Shaikh and his wife Kausarbi in 2005.
The witness also denied that on Tulsiram’s instructions, she had made an oral submission before the court on the threats to his life. During cross-examination by the defence advocates, the witness told the court that as per her practice and the general rule in magistrate courts in Madhya Pradesh, any submissions made by the accused or by their advocates are done in writing and not orally. The witness told the court that she only remembered that in 2006, Tulsiram had come to court, signed on some document and had assigned another lawyer to represent him. In April, another witness who claimed to have represented Tulsiram in Udaipur, had told the court that in January 2006, Tulsiram had expressed apprehensions about danger to his life.
Another witness, who had driven a team of policemen — now accused — to Palanpur, the area where Tulsiram was killed in an encounter on December 28, 2006, also turned hostile on Wednesday. The witness told the court that he has never been involved in car rental services. In his earlier statement in 2011, the witness had said that on instructions of a railway police official, he had organised a vehicle for policemen and driven them from Himmatnagar to Palanpur.