L.N. Mishra assassination case: A political and legal conundrum that never ends

The famous saying of ‘Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied’ could not have a better applicability than the assassination case of former Railways Minister Late Shri Lalit Narayan Mishra. Late Shri Lalit Narayan Mishra was member of the First Lok Sabha, Second Lok Sabha and 5th Lok Sabha, he was also member of the Rajya Sabha from 1964 to 1966 and then from 1966 to 1971. He was a Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Planning, Labour and Employment (1957–60), Deputy Minister for Labour, Employment & Planning (1960-62), Deputy Minister for Home Affairs (1964–66), Deputy Finance Minister (1966–67), Minister of State for Labour, Employment & Rehabilitation (March- November, 1967), Minister of State for Defence Production (1967–70). From 1970 till 4 February 1973 he was Minister of Foreign Trade. On 5 February 1973 he was made Cabinet Minister for Railways. The current chairman of the 15th Finance Commission, Shri N.K. Singh was the Special Assistant to Late Shri L.N. Mishra when Late Shri L.N. Mishra was in charge of Foreign Trade Ministry and Former Prime Minister of the country, Dr. Manmohan Singh was also brought into politics by Late Shri L.N. Mishra.

On 02.01.1975, while being the Railways Minister, Late Shri L.N. Mishra had arrived at the Samastipur Railway Station, Bihar to inaugurate the opening of a Board Gauge Railway Line from Samastipur to Muzaffarpur. In the evening as soon as he finished his speech and was to step down from the dais, grenades were thrown on the dais, which exploded. This resulted into the death of the Late Shri L.N. Mishra, Surya Narain Jha MLC (Bihar) and Ram Kishore Prasad Singh, a Railway Clerk besides causing grievous injuries to eight persons and hurt to eighteen persons. A case No.1/75 dated 02.01.1975 was registered with PS GRPS Samastipur. This case, through notification dated 03.01.1975 issued by the Government of Bihar, was transferred to C.B.I. for investigation. Accordingly RC- 1/75-CIU was registered with SPE, CIU, C.B.I., New Delhi. Initially, local police of Patna investigated the case and subsequently investigation was taken over by CID Police, Bihar and on 10.01.1975, the investigation was taken over by C.B.I.

In the instant case charges were framed in the matter against the alleged accused, namely members of Anand Margis group and after adjudication in the case for about 40 years the Trial Court had held the alleged Accused guilty and were given life sentence vide judgment dated 18.12.2014.

Appeals were then filed by the alleged Accused in 2015 before the Hon’ble Delhi High Court, wherein the appeals were admitted and bails were granted to the Accused and since then appeals are still pending in the Hon’ble Court. The appeals filed were:-

a) Crl. A. No. 128/2015, Ram Janam Dwivedi @ Ranjan Dwivedi v. Central Bureau Of Investigation,

b) Crl. A. No. 91/2015, Santoshanand Avadhut @ Ghanshyam Prasad And Anr. v.

CENTRAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION,

c) Crl. A. No. 130/2015, Sudevanand Avadhoot @ Ramchandra @ Bharat @ Doctor @ Misri Lal Yadav v. Central Bureau Of Investigation.

Out of these the appeal filed by Ranjan Dwivedi has been abated under Section 394 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 due to passing away of the Accused. The other two appeals are however still pending in the Hon’ble Delhi High Court.

The family of Late Shri L.N. Mishra have always held that proper investigation in the case never took place. The victim’s family member also said that this was a political killing and a political conspiracy was hatched to do the same. As witness in the case in Trial Court, the family members’ of Late Shri L.N. Mishra have stated the same. The investigation agency had a lackadaisical attitude towards attaining real justice in the case and proper investigating in the case was never done.

It is interesting to note that Justice (Retd.) V.M. Tarkunde who was a retired judge from Bombay High Court and later a Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court in his report/opinion dated 15.2.1979 had specifically stated how the investigation was botched up and who were the people involved in doing the same. The same sequence of events of botching up the investigation in the case was also named in the Bihar CID Police report dated 24.10.1978. This investigation report was a parallel investigation done by Bihar Police CID under the able guidance of former I.P.S. officer Late Sh. S.B. Sahai.

The most unfortunate event in the whole case was transfer of the case from Bihar to Delhi after which the case took too much delay and was held with laches. This was as per the Transfer Petition No. 69/1979, Attorney General for India v. Santoshanand Avadhoot & Ors. which was allowed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. That even in this Petition on affidavit Bihar Police officials stated as to how steps were taken to ensure that case does not reach its logical conclusion.

Even a book titled “Who Killed L.N. Mishra?: An Indian Express Investigation” has stated how investigation has been sabotaged here in the case and how a larger political conspiracy took place. The book also illustrates how last minute steps were taken to ensure that no feasible attempts were allowed to revive the health of Late Shri L. N. Mishra. The book also lists out the circumstances which lead to the assassination of Late Shri L.N. Mishra and the people involved in the conspiracy behind the assassination.

The most interesting thing to be noted is to see how these opinions, reports and book(s) mentioned here also list out in a specific and definitive manner the people benefiting from the assassination of Late Shri L.N. Mishra.

The family member(s) of Late Shri L.N. Mishra based on these opinions, reports and book(s) had filed a representation in November, 2020 before the investigation agency for re-investigation in the case since after so many years no final outcome was achieved. However with no response from the investigation agency, the family members then filed a Writ Petition titled W.P. (Crl.) No. 1403/2021 Vaibhav Mishra v. Central Bureau of investigation & Ors. in Delhi High Court. In the month of August last year High Court had then directed the agency to respond to the representation. However with no fruitful response from the agency, the family of Late Shri L.N. Mishra are still seeking justice in the criminal appeals pending in the High Court. The larger question at hand which needs to be pondered on is for how long would a family need to wait for justice.

The post L.N. Mishra assassination case: A political and legal conundrum that never ends appeared first on The Daily Guardian.

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