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L N Mishra murder case: HC grants bail to advocate

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

An advocate serving life term along with three others for killing former Railway Minister L N Mishra 40 years ago, was today granted bail by the Delhi High Court.

A bench of Justices G S Sistani and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal while granting the relief to 66-year-old convict Ranjan Dwivedi, who has also challenged his conviction, directed him to furnish a bail bond of Rs 50,000 with two sureties of a like amount.

While enlarging Dwivedi on bail, the court took note of the submissions of senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, appearing for the convict, that his client (Dwivedi) was not named by the witnesses, especially the two approvers, as those who were part of the meeting where the conspiracy was hatched.

"Dwivedi was not mentioned by the witnesses that he was part of buying the ammunition...," the court noted, adding that the trial in the case took over 39 years and the documents are so voluminous that it cannot hear the appeal at the earliest.

It further said the court is making an endeavour to hear the appeal at earliest.

"The application (Dwivedi bail application) is allowed," the court said, adding it would hear the other two bail pleas filed by convicts Sudevanand Avdhoot and Santoshanand Avdhoot tomorrow.

The court, meanwhile, restrained Dwivedi from moving out of the national capital.

The trial court, on December 18 last year, had awarded life-term to three Ananda Margis- Santoshanand,75, Sudevanand, 79, and Gopalji, 73, - and Dwivedi for killing Mishra and two others in a blast at Bihar's Samastipur railway station on January 2, 1975, a few months before the proclamation of Emergency.

Besides Dwivedi, Sudevanand and Santoshanand have also moved applications before the high court seeking bail and suspension of the jail term awarded to them in the case.

They contended that there was no evidence against them and the trial court has convicted and sentence them to jail only by relying on the testimonies of witnesses, which is wrong in the eye of law.

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First Published: Mon, April 06 2015. 20:32 IST