The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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FIR fails to name minister as accused
- Column left blank in murder complaint

Jaipur, June 3: Court ordered police to register an FIR against their boss, home minister Gulab Singh Shaktawat, but they devised an escape hatch for the murder accused.

The report was filed but the minister, who allegedly killed his domestic help Badan Lal, was not named as an accused.

Sodala police station left the column, where the accused had to be named, blank.

The order of the additional chief judicial magistrate of Jaipur, Ramesh Chandra Sharma, came after Badan’s brother Roop Lal Rawat complained about the police’s unwillingness to register an FIR.

Throughout yesterday, senior police officers were closeted in a meeting to evolve a “response” to the court order passed in the morning.

Till late last evening, no senior officer in the city was available for comment.

Justifying the omission of Shaktawat’s name, DIG Kapil Garg today said though the home minister was made a “respondent” in the complaint before the court, he was not directly charged with murder or destroying evidence.

City superintendent of police (south) Sanjay Agrawal said they had followed the court instructions in “letter” and the FIR was registered under Section 302 of the IPC.

But what about following the order in its “spirit”' The officer had no answer.

“The station house officer of Sodala is investigating the case and, if the situation demands, related parties, including the home minister, could be interrogated,” he said.

Roop’s lawyer Madho Ram Chawdhary asserted that the complaint was lodged on the basis of circumstantial evidence and the home minister was made a respondent.

“This demanded that Shaktawat be named as accused in the FIR,” he said.

Roop had alleged murder and destruction of evidence in his complaint.

“It is customary that while registering an FIR following a court order, a respondent in a compliant under Sections 156(3) and 190 of the CrPC is named as an accused,” Chawdhary pointed out.

In a memorandum to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Badan’s father and brother demanded that Shaktawat be sacked immediately.

With Shaktawat continuing as home minister, an impartial probe is impossible, they pleaded.

Badan was found dead on railway tracks near Durgapura station on May 22. He had been working at the home minister’s residence for the past four years.

According to Roop’s complaint, the police and the home minister had accused Badan of stealing Rs 50,000, which they later denied.

While the police in Sanganer registered a suicide case, Roop expressed apprehension that his brother was murdered and thrown on the tracks. He also referred to police pressure on the family to keep quiet about the incident.

He wanted a murder case to be registered against Shaktawat in Sodala on May 27.

Sodala police, however, sent the complaint to their counterparts in Sanganer police station for “due action”.

The police then said they would not mind if the investigation was handed over to the CBI as the state government had asked for.

However, the investigating agency office here is yet to receive any communication in this connection.

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