Jodhpur: The Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the state government and CBI seeking their response on May 19 on a plea by former minister Mahipal Maderna, an accused in Bhanwari Devi murder case, challenging his transfer to Jaipur jail from Jodhpur.

Maderna has in his petition contended that neither the high court had given any direction regarding his jail shifting nor the government has any lawful right to shift an undertrial, government counsel Pradhyumn Singh said.

However, Singh said there is no law barring government from shifting the undetrial.

Panne Singh Ratadi, counsel for CBI in high court, said the decision was taken by the state government on the plea of the CBI in the high court through a written affidavit citing threats to its officials with a view to influence the investigation in Bhanwari Devi case.

While hearing Maderna's plea, the single bench of Justice Sangeet Lodha issued notices to the state government and the CBI Director seeking their response on May 19.

Congress MLA Malkhan Singh Bishnoi, who also among the 17 accused in the case, has also filed a similar petition challenging his jail shifting.

Both Maderna and Bishnoi were shifted together from Jodhpur jail to Jaipur and Ajmer jails respectively.

Nurse Bhanwari Devi, 36, had gone missing from Jodhpur's Bilara area on September 1 last year following which her husband had filed a habeas corpus petition in the high  court.

After the state government ordered a CBI probe into the case, the agency arrested Maderna, who was removed by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot from his ministry in October after his name cropped up in the case, on December 3 and Malkhan Singh on December 19 for their alleged involvement in the case.

Soon after her death, a sleaze CD was circulated allegedly featuring Maderna and Bhanwari. Maderna is cuurently undergoing treatment for back problem.


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