Jodhpur, Aug 21 (PTI) Ruling that providing security to a prisoner or undertrial facing criminal cases is the responsibility of the state, the Rajasthan High Court on Friday directed the state to refund Rs 70,497 to the son of an accused in the sensational 2011 abduction and murder case of Bhanwari Devi.
Justice Dinesh Mehta, while allowing an application by the accused, Amarchand, directed the state to do the needful within a period of eight weeks, stating that the state cannot justifiably recover the amount of security or police aid.
Petitioner's counsel Yashpal Khileri said that Amarchand was granted interim bail from October 5, 2019 to October 7, 2019 and he was asked to deposit Rs 70,497 by the police for assistance/custody during the bail period.
Khileri argued that the applicant or his family was not in a position to bear the cost, which was demanded by the superintendent of police, and submitted that the applicant could avail the bail only for two days because of the time taken in determination and deposition of the amount.
The respondent counsels protested against the arguments of petitioner's counsel, saying that the son of the applicant was in a government job and they justified the recovery of the cost for providing security.
The court turned down their arguments and granted the prayer of the applicant to refund the amount, saying that the state was asked to provide police assistance to the applicant pursuant to the directions given by it.
The court ruled that 'unless the court directs the amount of security/police assistance to be recovered from the applicant, the state cannot recover any amount towards security or police assistance from any accused or his family'.
The court also ruled that 'normally, while granting interim bail to an accused, the court does not release him in police custody. Police custody is ordered if the court apprehends that the accused would flee and/or there is threat to the life of the accused'.
The case had grabbed headlines in 2011 after the name of then Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna had cropped up in connection with the killing of Bhanwari Devi.
Bhanwari Devi, posted as an auxiliary nurse midwife at a sub-centre in Jaliwada village, around 120 km from Jodhpur, had gone missing on September 1, 2011.
She disappeared after a CD allegedly showing Maderna in compromising position with the 36-year-old nurse was aired by some television news channels.
The CBI had said Bhanwari Devi was allegedly abducted from Jodhpur's Bilara area and killed. Her body was handed over to another gang which burnt it in a limestone quarry and dumped the remains in a canal, the agency alleged. PTI CORR AAR