L. N. Mishra murder case: Nearly 40 years after, four pronounced guilty

Published - December 08, 2014 03:56 pm IST - NEW DELHI

In what is clearly one of the longest drawn trials in India stretching nearly 40 years, four men were on Monday pronounced guilty by a Delhi court for murdering the then Union Railway Minister L.N. Mishra in a bomb blast at a function in Samastipur, Bihar on January 2, 1975.

District Judge Deepak Goel held advocate Ranjan Dwivedi and three Ananda Marga group members – Santoshananda Avadhuta, Sudevananda Avadhuta and Gopalji guilty of murdering Mr. Mishra in pursuance of a conspiracy.

All four have been taken in custody.

The sentence would be pronounced on December 15 after the court hears the argument on quantum of sentence.

The four have been found involved in the bomb blast at a function attended by Mishra at Samastipur Railway Station on January 2, 1975. He died the following day.

Over 200 witnesses, including 161 prosecution witnesses and more than 40 defence witnesses, were examined in the case.

Advocate Ranjan Dwivedi, who was 24-year-old at that time, was named as an accused along with four Ananda Marga group members, one of whom is dead.

The charge sheet in the case was filed on November 1, 1977 in a CBI court in Patna. On an application moved by the then Attorney General, the apex court transferred the case to Delhi.

The accused had earlier approached the Supreme Court for quashing of the trial against them in the murder case on the ground of delay in trial.

The apex court had on August 17, 2012 dismissed their pleas saying the proceedings could not be quashed merely because they could not be concluded in the last 37 years.

Except Gopalji, all those listed in the charge sheet in Mishra murder case were also named as accused in an attempt to murder case related to the bid on the life of then Chief Justice of India A N Ray in Delhi on March 20, 1975.

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