Telangana IAS officer murder case: Supreme Court asks ex-MP Anand Mohan to deposit passport

Mohan, an MLA in 1994, was leading the procession and was alleged to have instigated the mob to kill IAS officer G Krishnaiah.

ByPTI

Published Feb 06, 2024 | 9:43 PMUpdatedFeb 06, 2024 | 9:54 PM

Anand Mohan's release

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 6 February, asked former Lok Sabha member Anand Mohan, who was granted remission by the Bihar government last year, to surrender his passport and record his presence at the local police station every fortnight.

He was convicted for the murder of a Telangana (then Andhra Pradesh) native IAS officer in 1994.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and KV Viswanathan gave the Centre one last opportunity to file its affidavit on the remission granted to Mohan, who was serving a life term in the 1994 murder case of then Gopalganj district magistrate G Krishnaiah.

“Respondent (Anand Mohan) should deposit his passport immediately in the local police station and record his presence at the police station every fortnight,” the bench ordered.

Also Read: SC seeks Bihar, Centre response on plea against Anand Mohan’s release

The hearing

During the brief hearing, senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Uma Krishnaiah, the wife of the slain officer, told the bench that this matter has been dragging on for a while as the Union government has not filed its reply to the petition challenging the remission.

He said that the Union government was issued notice in May last year and the government is still seeking time to file an affidavit.

Referring to the affidavit of the Bihar government, Luthra said that it was a bizarre case as the convict was awarded a life sentence but was released prematurely and was now out playing a political role.

The bench said that it was listing the matter for a final hearing on 27 February and would give 60 minutes maximum to both sides to complete the argument.

Counsel for Mohan urged the bench to reconsider the direction for the deposit of the passport and marking of presence at the local police station.

The bench said it passed the order in view of the respondent’s (Mohan) involvement in other cases.

Asks to comply with order

“Let him comply with the order. We will hear the matter on 27 February,” said the bench while asking the counsel for the Centre to file its affidavit within a week.

On 11 August last year, the top court asked the Bihar government how many of the convicts granted remission in April last year along with Mohan were held guilty of murdering public servants on duty.

The Bihar government informed the top court that a total of 97 convicts, including Mohan, were prematurely released at the same time.

On 19 May, 2023, the top court directed the Bihar government to produce complete original records with regard to the remission granted to Mohan, a gangster-turned-politician.

Luthra had earlier argued the state government changed the policy retrospectively and released Mohan.

Mohan was released from Saharsa jail on 24 April last year, after serving more than 14 years following an amendment to the Bihar prison rules by the state government.

Also Read: Only SC should decide, says wife of IAS officer Krishnaiah

The arguments

The petitioner contended the life imprisonment awarded to Mohan meant incarceration for his entire natural course of life and it cannot be mechanically interpreted to last just 14 years.

“Life imprisonment, when awarded as a substitute for the death penalty, has to be carried out strictly as directed by the court and would be beyond the application of remission,” she said in her petition.

Mohan was awarded the death penalty on 5 October, 2007, by a trial court, which was commuted to rigorous life imprisonment by the Patna High Court on 10 December, 2008, and confirmed by the Supreme Court on 10 July, 2012.

The remission of Mohan’s sentence followed a 10 April, 2023, amendment to the Bihar Prison Manual by the Nitish Kumar government, whereby the restriction on early release of those involved in the killing of a public servant on duty was done away with.

This, the critics of the state government’s decision claimed, was done to facilitate the release of Mohan, a Rajput strongman.

Krishnaiah, who hailed from Telangana (then Andhra Pradesh), was beaten to death by a mob in 1994 when his vehicle tried to overtake the funeral procession of gangster Chhotan Shukla in the Muzaffarpur district.

Mohan, then an MLA, was leading the procession and was alleged to have instigated the mob to kill Krishnaiah.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)