Delhi HC Allows L N Mishra's Kin To Assist CBI In Final Hearing Of Appeal Filed By Convicts In Murder Case
The Delhi High Court has allowed the family members of former Railway Minister L N Mishra, who had died in a blast at Bihar's Samastipur Railway Station in 1975, to assist the CBI at the time of the final hearing of the appeal filed by convicts in the murder case.
A Bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar also directed the Court registry to provide an electronic copy of the trial court record to the counsel appearing on behalf of the applicant family member, forthwith.
The Court was hearing an application filed by the former minister's grandson Vaibhav Mishra who sought to be allowed to advance oral or written arguments in support of question of law and facts involved in the case.
The counsel for the applicant said he was limiting the prayer for providing with a copy of the trial court record to enable him to assist the public prosecutor at the time of hearing of the appeal.
The CBI prosecutor did not oppose the limited relief after which the court allowed the prayer.
"It is further directed that the applicant would be at liberty to assist the Special Public Prosecutor for the CBI at the time of the final hearing of the present appeal. No further directions are called for. In view of the above, the application is disposed of accordingly," the Bench said.
Vaibhav, a practising lawyer, had said the deceased's family members are not a party to the appeal filed by the convicts and he wishes to assist in the process of justice.
The plea had said when the applicant tried to inspect the case filed in the high court registry, he was denied access on the pretext of not being a party in the appeal.
It has said the applicant had filed a representation for re-investigation before the CBI based on certain enquiry reports as he was of the belief that proper and fair probe did not take place by the agency and crucial evidence was ignored.
In response to the representation, the CBI has stated that as the appeal is pending before the high court against the conviction order in the case, it is not legally permissible to conduct re-investigation in the matter.
The High Court had earlier asked the CBI to consider the representation made in the case.
Three 'Ananda Margis' and an advocate were sentenced to life imprisonment in December 2014 by a trial court here for the killing of former railway minister Mishra over 46 years ago.
The Trial Court had held that the terror act was aimed at pressuring the then Indira Gandhi government to release the group's jailed chief.
The convicts had filed an appeal before the high court in 2015 challenging the trial court's verdict convicting and sentencing them and they were granted bail. The appeal is still pending in the High Court.
The Trial Court had held three 'Ananda Margis' -- Santoshanand, Sudevanand and Gopalji -- and advocate Ranjan Dwivedi guilty of murdering Mishra and two others and had also directed the Bihar government to pay Rs 5 lakh each to the legal heirs of Mishra and two other victims who had died in the blast on January 2, 1975, just few months before the proclamation of Emergency.
It had also asked the state government to pay a compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh each to the family members of seven people who had sustained grievous injuries and Rs 50,000 each to the kin of 20 others who had suffered simple injuries in the incident.
The Court had held that the conspiracy to eliminate the targets was hatched in a meeting in 1973 at a village in Bihar's Bhagalpur district, attended by six 'Ananda Margis'.
The four convicts, who were out on bail during the trial and were taken into custody after conviction, were later granted bail by the high court.
Apart from them, accused Ram Nagina Prasad and Ram Rup were discharged by the court in January 1981 and Arteshanand Avadhoot died in 2004 during the pendency of the case.
Two others, Visheshwaranand and Vikram, were granted pardon after they turned approvers.
The Trial Court had noted that after the incident, Mishra, who was seriously injured, was shifted for treatment from Samastipur to Danapur where he succumbed to injuries in the morning of January 3, 1975.
Apart from Mishra, Surya Narayan Jha and Ram Kishore Prasad Singh Kishore had also died in the incident.
It has said that it has been proved that there was tight security at the spot and venue owing to the visit of Mishra for inauguration of Broad Gauge Line between Samastipur and Muzaffarpur.
The case was transferred from Bihar to Delhi on the direction of the Supreme Court.
With PTI inputs