Jodhpur, Nov 14: CBI today drew flak for “slow pace” of investigation in Bhanwari Devi case from Rajasthan High Court which compared it to the botched probe in Arushi Talwar case even as sacked Rajasthan Minister Mahipal Maderna, a key suspect, once again skipped questioning on “health grounds”.
Giving the CBI 10 days to submit its progress report in the matter, a division bench of the high court here comprising Govind Mathur and N K Jain said the “credibility of the agency is at stake and it should speed up the investigation”.
As the agency sought four weeks' time from the court, the bench said, “You are repeatedly asking for more time. The same was done in the case of Aarushi Talwar. You were given one year then, what did you accomplish?”
The court was referring to the case of teenager Aarushi Talwar, who was brutally murdered in her house along with servant Hemraj, in May 2008. The CBI had in December last year filed a closure report in the case.
A CD purportedly showing Maderna, who was sacked by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot from Cabinet last month after his name cropped up in the case, and nurse Bhanwari Devi which was aired on a news channel, was also sent to the high court registrar by the channel.
The court said the CD was received by post and asked the CBI to take it if it could be useful in the investigation. Maderna, who was admitted to Mathura Das Mathur government hospital on Saturday night and is undergoing treatment for “marginal rise in blood pressure and mild chest pain”, did not appear for questioning.
“Maderna was supposed to appear before the CBI today but he informed agency about his inability to present on health grounds. The agency is now examining the papers related to his check-up,” the agency sources said.
Hospital sources, wishing anonymity, told PTI that the former minister's supporters “want to shift him to AIIMS in New Delhi for treatment but there is no reason for the hospital administration to refer him to New Delhi.”
Meanwhile, the CBI quizzed Parasram Vishnoi, brother of MLA Malkhan Singh, another suspect, at the circuit house here.
Maderna was interrogated on Thursday and Friday last and was exempted from questioning on Saturday on health grounds.
CBI is also planning to quiz a man identified as Sunil Gujjar hailing from Ajmer who is suspected to have been involved in preparing the obscene CD and circulating it.
CBI sources said that he will also be questioned in the matter. Kailash Nat, brother of Bhanwari Devi, had a few days back said that she used to meet Gujjar whenever she was in Ajmer. Gujjar, however, denied any knowledge of the CD.
“It is a rumour that I am involved in the case. I have no links with Bhanwari,” he claimed.
Bhanwari, 36, a nurse at the sub-centre in Jaliwada village, went missing on September 1.