Nearly 40 years after the death of former railway minister LN Mishra at a function in Bihar, a Delhi court on Monday held advocate Ranjan Dwivedi and 3 others guilty of murdering him.
District judge Vinod Goel said Dwivedi and three other Ananda Marga group members accused in the case-- Santoshananda Avadhuta, Sudevananda Avadhuta and Gopalji -- had conspired to explode a bomb at the January 2, 1975 function attended by Mishra at Samastipur railway station.
The quantum of punishment will be announced on December 15.
The court had fixed the case for the verdict after hearing the final arguments of the counsel for CBI and the four accused. The court, which had reserved the judgement on September 12, was earlier scheduled to pronounce it on November 10 but deferred it for December 8 as the order was not ready.
The charge sheet in this case was filed on November 1, 1977 in a CBI court in Patna. The case was shifted to Delhi in 1979 on a plea by the then attorney general to the apex court.
Over 200 witnesses, including 161 prosecution witnesses and more than 40 defence witnesses, were examined, and final arguments in the case concluded in September 2012.
Dwivedi was 24-year-old when his name along with four Ananda Marga group members- one of whom has died - came up in connection to the bombing.
The accused had approached the Supreme Court for quashing of the murder trial against them on the grounds of inordinate delay. However, the apex court had on August 17, 2012 dismissed their pleas.
All the convicts in this case, except Gopalji, were also named as tried and found guilty of attempting to murder then Chief Justice of India AN Ray in Delhi on March 20, 1975.
While Delhi high court in August acquitted Dwivedi, it upheld the the order to sentence Santoshananda and Sudevananda to 10 years rigorous imprisonment (RI) each.