Sacked Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna Monday appeared in a special court here which read out to him the charges against him in the alleged abduction and murder of government nurse Bhanwari Devi Sep 1 last year, a lawyer said.
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Girish Sharma enlisted the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) allegations against him in his presence as this could not be done Oct 4 when murder, abduction and conspiracy charges were framed against Maderna, said the probe agency's counsel Ashok Joshi.
Maderna was arrested in Jodhpur Dec 3, 2011, and Malkhan Singh Bishnoi, Congress legislator from Luni constituency, was taken into custody Dec 19, 2011.
The CBI in its charge sheet said both Maderna and Malkhan Singh were being blackmailed by the nurse on the basis of CDs showing them in compromising positions with her.
"Maderna has been booked under sections 302 (murder), 364 (abduction), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code," the lawyer said.
The court framed charges against all the 16 accused Oct 4. "However, as Maderna was not present during the previous hearing, charges were read out to him today (Monday)," said Joshi.
Bhanwari Devi was allegedly kidnapped by three men - Shahabuddin, Baldev Jat alias Balia and Sohan Lal.
As per the CBI charge sheet, the trio murdered the nurse and then handed over her body to Bishna Ram Bishnoi and Jakhar, who burnt and dumped the remains in a canal in Jodhpur.
The CBI teams had sent some bones collected from the canal for forensic examination which confirmed that these were of the nurse.