The Uttarakhand high court on Monday upheld the life imprisonment of former UP minister Amarmani Tripathi, his wife and two others in the poet Madhumita Shukla murder case.
The high court also sentenced another accused who had been let off by a lower court.
A division bench comprising chief justice Barin Ghosh and justice UC Dhayani rejected the plea of Tripathi and three other convicts challenging the lower court’s orders.
The bench accepted the plea of the CBI, which had demanded life imprisonment for Prakash Chandra Pandey alias Pappu, who was earlier found blameless by a Dehradun court.
The court directed the police to take Pandey into custody. Amarmani Tripathi was a minister in the Mayawati government in 2002-03. Later he switched to the Samajwadi Party.
Rejecting the petition of the four, the court said no relief could be granted to Tripathi or any other convict because their role in Shukla’s murder had been established by the CBI, said Virendra Singh Adhikari, counsel for the poet’s sister Nidhi Shukla.
Tripathi, his wife, Madhumani, and two others — Rohit Chaturvedi and Santosh Kumar Rai — had been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Dehradun court in 2007 for hatching a conspiracy and killing Madhumita Shukla in Lucknow in 2003.
“It was found that Madhumita Shukla was murdered pursuant to a criminal conspiracy hatched by Tripathi, his wife and Chaturvedi, who engaged accused Santosh Kumar Rai alias Satya Prakash, and Prakash Chander Pandey to murder the poet,” a CBI spokesperson said.
During further investigation, it was revealed that the poet was being pressured by Tripathi to abort the child she had conceived through her illicit relationship with him, the CBI said.
“It was also revealed that after the murder of Madhumita Shukla, Amarmani Tripathi wielded his influence to derail investigation,” the spokesperson said.
With PTI inputs