More than six years after the murder of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) whistleblower Satyendra Kumar Dubey, a special court in Patna on Saturday sentenced the three convicts — Mantu Kumar, Udai Kumar and Pinku Ravidas — to life imprisonment.
The Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) judge Raghvendra Pratap Singh had, on Monday last, convicted them for the crime and fixed November 27 as the date for fixing the quantum of punishment.
All three convicts were present in the court when the judge handed over copies of the judgment.
A fourth accused, Shravan Kumar, had earlier turned approver and so, escaped punishment.
In all, 33 prosecution witnesses were crossed-examined. However, some of them turned hostile in the course of trial.
According to the prosecution, Dubey, a 31-year-old graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, who was passing the Circuit House in Gaya on a cycle rickshaw, was killed on the intervening night of November 26-27, 2003, when he was attacked by the accused, who tried to rob him.
In the ensuing scuffle, Mantu fired at Dubey from close range with a .315 country-made revolver. While Dubey died on the spot, the accused escaped with his suitcase. An FIR was lodged by the Gaya police against unknown persons.