The Uttarakhand High Court today upheld the life imprisonment of former UP MLA Amarmani Tripathi, his wife and two others while sentencing another accused, earlier let off by the lower court, in the poetess Madhumita Shukla murder case.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Barin Ghosh and Justice U C Dhayani rejected the plea of Tripathi and three other convicts challenging the lower court orders as it did not find merit.
The bench accepted the plea of CBI which has demanded life sentence for Prakash Chandra Pandey alias Pappu who was earlier let-off by the Dehradun court.
The court directed the police to take Pandey into custody immediately.
Rejecting the petition of the four convicts, the court said that no relief can be granted to Tripathi or any other convict since their role in Madhumita's murder has been proved by the CBI, said Virendra Singh Adhikari, counsel for the slain poetess' sister Nidhi Shukla.
Tripathi, his wife Madhumani and two others – Rohit Chaturvedi and Santosh Kumar Rai were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Dehradun court in 2007 for hatching a conspiracy and killing Shukla in Lucknow in 2003.
"It was found that Madhumita Shukla was murdered pursuant to a criminal conspiracy hatched by Amarmani Tripathi, his wife Madhumani Tripathi and Rohit Chaturvedi, who engaged accused Santosh Kumar Rai alias Satya Prakash, and Prakash Chander Pandey alias Pappu to murder the poetess," CBI spokesperson said.
During further investigation, it was revealed that Shukla was being pressurised by Tripathi to abort the child she had conceived through her relations with the MLA, the CBI said.
"It was also revealed that after the murder of Madhumita Shukla, Amarmani Tripathi wielded his influence to derail the investigation," the spokesperson said.
The CBI spokesperson said Tripathi hatched a conspiracy with then Sub-Inspector of Uttar Pradesh Police, Yagya Narain Dixit, to allege that the foetus found in the womb of Shukla was not his but that of Anuj Mishra, an IIT-Kanpur student.
After thorough investigation, CBI filed a charge sheet against Tripathi, Rohit Chaturvedi, Santosh Kumar Rai, Prakash Chander Pandey, Yagya Narain Dixit and Madhumani Tripathi on December 19, 2003 in the designated court at Lucknow, the CBI said.
Dixit, the then Sub-Inspector of Police died during trial.
"The trial of the case was transferred out of Uttar Pradesh to Uttarakhand under the directions of the Supreme Court of, which had also directed that the case must be tried on a day-to-day basis," the spokesperson said.
After a trial that spanned more than 8 months, the court of the district and sessions judge at Dehradun on October 24, 2007, convicted four accused persons -- Amarmani, Madhumani, Santosh Kumar Rai alias Satya Prakash and Rohit Chaturvedi -- and sentenced them to undergo life imprisonment.
The court had acquitted Pandey who visited the house of Madhumita along with Santosh Kumar Rai on May 9, 2003 where she was shot dead.
Madhumita Murder Case: Amarmani's Life Term Upheld
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