Trial still on in LN Mishra murder case

Updated on Feb 17, 2008 11:32 AM IST
One of the accused and four defence lawyers have passed away during the course of the trial.
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PTI | By, New Delhi

The murder case of former railway minister Lalit Narayan Mishra has entered its 33rd year of trial with the court recording the statements of defence witnesses.

One of the accused and four defence lawyers have passed away during the course of the trial.

Appearing before the Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) of Tis Hazari court, three defence witnesses, recorded their statements after they came all the way from Bihar to Delhi for deposing their testimony in the case.

Meanwhile, the court is now hearing the case on day-to-day basis after the case has dragged on for 33 years in various lower courts.

About 151 witnesses have already recorded their deposition statements before the court and currently the statements by defence witnesses are on in the case.

The case, with its documents running into about 11,000 pages, is perhaps the oldest case in the files of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is the investigating agency in the matter.

From January 1994 to 2002, five accused out of a total of eight -- Santosh Anand, Sudheva, Gopalji, Atesh Anand, Ranjan Dwivedi -- had already recorded their statements in various courts.

The case was the first in the country to have been transferred outside the state by the Supreme Court for fear of destruction of evidence.

It was initially being heard by a Patna court from where it was transferred to Delhi's Patiala House Court and then to the Tis Hazari Court, where it is now on.

By the order of the apex court, the CBI had registered a case against the accused persons on January 7, 1975. The case was transferred to a Delhi court on December 17, 1979.

As per the CBI, Mishra, a powerful politician of his time and a former railway minister in the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi government, had visited Samastipur in Bihar on January 2, 1975, to inaugurate a broad gauge line.

A grenade was lobbed on the dais where he was present, injuring him seriously. He was rushed to a Danapur hospital where he died a day later, the CBI alleged.

Mishra was taken from Samastipur to a small railway hospital in Danapur almost 150 kms away when better medical facilities were available just 30 minutes away in Darbhanga, the CBI alleged.

Moreover, the train carrying him was not made to stop at Patna, where he could have got better treatment.

It was also alleged that the train was held up at several places, delaying the treatment that could have saved Mishra.

Also, no post-mortem was ever carried out which sharpened the murder mystery of him, the agency alleged.

The prosecution claimed that the attack was part of a deliberate campaign of the Hindu sect Anand Marg to seek the release of its arrested founder leader Anand Murthy PR Sarkar.

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