Bihar MP gets bail in murder case, can vote now

July 16th, 2008 - 4:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, July 16 (IANS) The Patna High Court Wednesday granted bail to Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) MP Surajbhan Singh, who has appealed his conviction for murder. The ruling alliance MP will now be able to vote in the crucial trust motion in parliament next Tuesday. A division bench of the Patna High Court granted bail to Surajbhan Singh after hearing a petition filed by him that challenged his conviction by a Begusarai court last month for the murder of a farmer over 16 years ago, official sources in the court said.

Surajbhan Singh was in jail after the Begusarai court sentenced him to life imprisonment.

“The High Court has now given him bail on the plea that no evidence of the MP’s direct involvement in the murder exists,” said Rana Pratap Singh, the MP’s lawyer.

Surajbhan Singh represents Bihar’s Ballia constituency in parliament and is considered close to Minister of Steel and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan.

Singh’s vote will be important for the United Progressive Alliance that is ruling at the centre, and striving to reach the halfway mark in the 545-seat Lok Sabha during the trust motion next Tuesday.

Last month Begusarai fast track court judge Ravi Prakash Dhar Dubey jailed three people including Surajbhan Singh for life, a day after they were convicted for farmer Rami Singh’s murder Jan 16, 1992.

Early this month Singh appealed to the high court against his conviction. The MP faces 30 criminal charges, including those of murder, extortion, kidnapping and looting.

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