NEW DELHI - Former Bihar MP Anand Mohan has moved the Supreme Court challenging his conviction and life imprisonment by the Patna High Court in the 1994 lynching of Gopalganj district magistrate G. Krishnaiah.
The former Janata Dal (United) MP approached the apex court challenging the December 2008 ruling of the Patna High Court which held him guilty in the lynching.
A division bench of the high court, however, had commuted Mohan’s death sentence to life imprisonment, saying that he was charged with only inciting the mob that lynched the bureaucrat to death, and therefore his crime did not fall in the category of rarest of rare, meriting death penalty.
The high court bench of Justice Shiv Kirti Singh and Justice S.M. Mafooz Alam had also acquitted six others, including his wife and former Lok Sabha MP Lovely Anand, in the same case citing lack of adequate evidence.
The others acquitted included sitting JD-U legislator Munna Shukla, former state minister Akhlaq Ahmed, former state legislator Arun Kumar and their accomplices Shashi Shekharand and Harendra Kumar.
Challenging his conviction and jail term, Mohan contended that the evidence which earned the other accused acquittal had led to his conviction.
On Mohan’s petition, an apex court bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice H.S. Bedi issued notices to the Bihar government Monday seeking its reply.
Krishnaiah was lynched by a mob allegedly led by Anand Mohan, Lovely Anand and Munna Shukla on Dec 5, 1994, a day after Munna Shukla’s brother Chhotan Shukla, a gangster with political ambitions, and three others were gunned down in Muzaffarpur.
A trial court had on Oct 3, 2007, awarded death sentences to Anand Mohan, Akhlaq Ahmed and Arun Kumar while Lovely Anand, Munna Shukla, Shashi Shekhar and Harendra Kumar were given life imprisonment.
Mohan, who was then the Bihar Peoples Party (BPP) chief, and the others were alleged to have made provocative speeches to incite the mob to kill Krishnaiah near Khabra on the outskirts of north Bihar’s Muzaffarpur town.
Krishnaiah’s vehicle had got trapped in the funeral procession of Chhotan Shukla, who along with three others, was killed the previous day while returning from an election campaign for the 1995 assembly polls.
Some people from the crowd had pulled Krishnaiah out of his car and brutally thrashed him before one of them pulled the trigger, killing the young IAS officer on the spot.
Altogether, 36 people were made accused in the case, but the trial court had acquitted 29 earlier, giving them the benefit of doubt.