Controversial Samajwadi Party MLA from Laximpur (Maharajganj) Amarmani Tripathi is in the dock again in the Madhumita Shukla murder case.
Today's Supreme Court's order, transferring the trial of Tripathi and his wife Madhumani Tripathi in the murder case from Lucknow to Dehradun (Uttrakhand) could deprive the MLA of the "five-star" facilities, which he had been enjoying in Gorakhpur jail.
Thanks to his proximity to the powers that be, he was running a political show from jail. He had recently hosted a party in jail for the imprisoned BJP MP Yogi Adityanath, who is now out on bail.
With the apex court ordering day-to-day hearing in the Dehradun court, Tripathi's transfer from Gorakhpur to Dehradun jail cannot be ruled out. The CBI was in favour of transfer of the case outside the state. Earlier, in September 2005, the apex court had cancelled Tripathi's bail which had been granted by the High Court. Since then, the couple is in jail. Madhumani is a co-accused in the case.
This is the second case the apex court has transferred outside the state in recent times. Earlier, the court had shifted the trial of Food Minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya and his father Udai Pratap Singh in a POTA case from Kanpur to Jabalpur.
The CBI had arrested Tripathi in September 2003. His wife later surrendered in a CBI court. However, both were granted bail. A three-time MLA from Laxmipur assembly segment in Maharajganj and history-sheeter, Tripathi was dismissed from the Rajnath Singh ministry on December 12, 2001, for his involvement in the kidnapping of a boy Rahul Gupta from Basti. He was subsequently arrested and jailed. However, the murder of Madhumita Shukla on May 9, 2003 sealed his fate.
Tripathi has always been in the news for the wrong reasons. Fond of a colourful life, he has been at the centre of controversies over his dubious activities.
Police records in Gorakhpur, Maharajganj and Deoria districts categorise him as an "A" grade history-sheeter (No 30). Tripathi, resident of Hapur under Farenda police station, in Maharajganj, had allegedly committed 33 crimes, which included murder, attempt to murder, life threat and ransacking of house. These cases were pending in various courts in eastern UP.
Tripathi, who started his political career in the Congress, was elected on a Congress ticket in 1996. Later, he joined the Loktantrik Congress Party to become a minister in the Kalyan Singh government in 1997. He was also in the eye of the storm during his first stint as minister. However, political compulsion forced Kalyan Singh and his successors RP Gupta and Rajnath Singh to turn a blind eye to his questionable activities. Rajnath Singh was forced to sack him only after the STF confirmed his involvement in the kidnapping of Rahul Gupta.
In the 2002 assembly election, Mayawati gave him the BSP ticket from Laxmipur. Though he failed to get a berth in the ministry at the time of installation of the Mayawati Government on May 3, 2002, he made it to the government during the first expansion.
In Mayawati's defection game and political crisis, Tripathi had turned out be her "man Friday". Later, thrown out of the Mayawati camp, he played a vital role in installation of the Mulayam Singh Yadav government in 2003 and joined the SP. The Samajwadi Party had even called Tripathi "the saviour of democracy" at the time of Mayawati's ouster in August 2003.
Email Masoodul Hasan: mhasan @hindustantimes.com