LN Mishra murder: 4 convicts get life imprisonment

NEW DELHI (TIP): In a show of mercy, aDelhi court on December 18 said the menconvicted of murdering railway minister LNMishra in 1975 should not be condemned todeath and sentenced the four to lifeimprisonment instead.The “crime was committed by themduring prime of their youth about 40 yearsago…there is every possibility of theirreformation,”said district judge Vinod Goelas he sentenced Ranjan Dwivedi,Santoshanand, Sudevanand and Gopalji tolife in prison. The court also imposed a fineof Rs. 25,000 each on Santoshanand, andSudevanand, both in their late seventies,while a fine of Rs. 20,000 each was slapped onDwivedi, 66, and Gopalji,73 — all of whomhave been undertrial for nearly forty yearsnow. It has directed Patna legal services toinquire into and disperse the compensationto the victims’ families. The judge had, onDecember 8, found all four guilty of thepremeditated murder of the then Unionminister in a blast at the Samastipur railwaystation on January 2, 1975. The court notedthat the accused had been in the “prime oftheir youth, “thus susceptible to beingmotivated by “false ideas” and belief in acorrupt ideology when the crime wascommitted. The court also observed thatsufficient proof existed that one of CBI’s keywitnesses Vikram — who is absconding —was tortured while in the custody ofDanapur jail by its “jailor, jailsuperintendant, jail doctors, CID Biharofficers and high officers of theestablishment.”

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