Free Press Journal

LN Mishra murder:HC seeks CBI reply on bail plea of 2 convicts


New Delhi: Delhi High Court today sought CBI’s response on bail pleas of two convicts, facing life term along with two others for killing former Railway Minister L N Mishra nearly 40 years ago.

A bench of Justices G S Sistani and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal issued notice to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the pleas of Sudevanand Avdhoot and Ranjan Dwivedi, who has also challenged his conviction.

The court directed the agency to file its status report before the next date of hearing and also called for the nominal rolls of both convicts to know about the time spent in jail by them.

The lawyer for Dwivedi, an advocate himself, sought bail on the ground that he is an advocate on record and needs to appear in cases filed in Supreme Court. The counsel also said that Dwivedi has spent over three years in jail in this case.

Avdhoot’s lawyer also sought suspension of sentence on the ground that he has spent over 12 years in prison in the matter. The trial court, on December 18, last year, had awarded life term to three Ananda Margis – Santoshanand Avdhoot, Sudevanand and Gopalji – and Dwivedi for killing Mishra and two others in a blast at Bihar’s Samastipur railway station on January 2, 1975, a few months before the proclamation of Emergency.

They were held guilty for the offences under section 302 (murder), 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapon or means), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.

The trial court had also imposed a fine of varied amount of Rs 25,000 and Rs 20,000 on them and had directed the Bihar Government to pay Rs five lakh each to Mishra’s legal heirs and two other victims who had died in the incident.

75-year-old Santoshanand had sought suspension of his sentence, saying the trial court order was too harsh and the prosecution has failed to show any evidence in the nearly 40-year-old case.

The other convict, 72-year-old Gopalji, had sought leniency on medical grounds claiming he was suffering from an illness which required life long medication.

They had said the trial court has failed to consider the mitigating circumstances in the order.