JD-U MP Prabhunath Singh acquitted in double murder caseOctober 24th, 2008 - 7:39 pm ICT by IANS
Patna, Oct 24 (IANS) A Bihar fast track court Friday acquitted Janata Dal-United (JD-U) MP Prabhunath Singh and six others for lack of evidence in a double murder case of 1995.The ruling of the Patna fast track court-III judge Manmohan Choudhary has come as a big relief for Singh as his political career would have taken a dive if he had been convicted and sentenced in the case.
Singh was one of the prime accused in the double murder during the 1995 assembly polls in Saran district. He represents Maharajganj in parliament and is a deputy leader of the JD-U parliamentary party.
Seven people including Singh were named in connection with the double murder.
The case relates to the murder of Daroga Rai and Rajendra Rai when they were returning home after casting votes in the Masrakh assembly constituency on March 25, 1995. It was alleged that they had been murdered for voting for Singh’s rival.
The case against Singh was filed on the basis of the statement of Rajendra, who succumbed to his injuries at the Patna Medical College and Hospital six months later.
Interestingly, official sources in the court said that the original seizure list prepared by the investigating officers in the case is missing from the record of the trial court. Two officials investigating the case - N.N. Thakur and Badri Ram - have also reportedly gone missing in the last two years. The two have not appeared in the court despite repeated summons since the hearing started some two years ago.
Over a year ago the Patna High Court ordered transfer of the trial from a Bhagalpur court to the sessions court here to complete it in three months. The court order on Singh’s trial came during hearing of a habeas corpus petition filed by Harendra Rai in connection with the kidnapping of Lal Muni Devi, a witness in the murder of her son Rajendra Rai.
The high court cancelled the judgement of the Bhagalpur sessions court in this case and directed the Bihar State Bar Council to inquire into the role of the public prosecutor and take action against him.
Girija Devi, wife of Lal Muni’s another son Harendra Rai, had Oct 24, 2006, filed a complaint with police in Saran district alleging that her mother-in-law was abducted by the associates of Prabhunath Singh to influence the trial in the case.
Singh faces over two dozen criminal charges, including murder, kidnapping and extortion.