Srinagar: A judicial commission, set up to probe the custodial death of a ruling National Conference worker in September last year, rejected a plea for summoning Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and his aides as witnesses in the case.

The counsel for the family of the deceased Syed Mohd Yousuf had submitted a list of 14 witnesses, including the Chief Minister, his political advisor Devender Rana and Minister of State (MoS) Home Nasir Aslam Wani to be summoned for cross-examination.

Justice (Retd) H S Bedi rejected the plea for summoning Omar, Wani, Rana and the CM's private secretary Asgar.

The Commission said the CM and his aides had filed affidavits and cross-examination was not required, Advocate Farooq Kathwari, representing the police officers named as witnesses said.

However, Justice Bedi allowed summoning of 10 witnesses, including the IGP Crime Raja Ajaz Ali and the doctor who had conducted Yousuf's postmortem.

The state government had on November 18 appointed the retired Supreme Court judge as the head of a one-man Commission to probe the death of 61-year-old Yousuf in police custody.

Yousuf was handed over to the IG, Crime Branch, by the Chief Minister on September 29 last year after he allegedly admitted to taking money from two National Conference workers for getting them favours from the government.

He died a day later and the medical tests so far have shown that he died of cardiac arrest and that there were no external injuries on his body.

The Commission was asked to complete its probe within six weeks but due to 'unavoidable circumstances', including pendency of a petition relating to the matter before the Supreme Court and adverse weather condition, the state government granted a three-month extension on January 7.

(Agencies)