Expressing happiness at the acquittal of former Union minister Shibu Soren in the case related to his private secretary's murder, his party Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) on Wednesday termed the Delhi High Court's order as a "victory of justice".
"When the lower court sentenced our Guruji to life imprisonment, we said injustice was meted out to our leader who was innocent. Today's acquittal has vindicated our fight for justice," JMM vice-president and MP Hemlal Murmu told PTI on phone.
"Justice was delayed but not denied," said Murmu, who was busy with the campaign for a by-election in Jamshedpur.
Welcoming the Delhi High Court's verdict, JMM leader and Jharkhand Revenue Minister Dulal Bhyayan said, "We were confident about Guruji's acquittal."
Deputy Chief Minister Sudhir Mahto and Agriculture Minister Nalin Soren, both senior JMM leaders, too hailed the verdict.
Soren's son and former MLA Durga Soren expressed relief following the acquittal.
Setting aside a lower court's order of November 28 last year that sentenced Soren and four others to life imprisonment, a bench of the Delhi High Court comprising Justices R S Sodhi and H R Malhotra said the CBI had "miserably failed" to prove the case against them.
The bench said the lower court's order "is far from convincing".
The 62-year-old tribal leader from Jharkand, who had to quit as Union coal minister following his conviction, is now being held at Dumka (rpt) Dumka prison in Jharkhand in connection with the Chirudih massacre case.