Only SC should decide, says wife of IAS officer Krishnaiah over Anand Mohan release

The matter will be admitted in the apex court on 1 May after which the court is expected to issue a notice to the Bihar government.

ByAjay Tomar

Published Apr 30, 2023 | 9:16 PMUpdatedApr 30, 2023 | 9:17 PM

Anand Mohan's release

T Uma Devi( (63), wife of deceased IAS Officer G Krishnaiah said on Sunday, 30 April, that only the Supreme Court — and not the state or Union governments — should be the decision-making authority over the premature acquittal of an accused.

She filed a petition in the Supreme Court on Saturday, challenging the premature release from prison of former gangster and Bihar Member of Parliament Anand Mohan, who was convicted for leading the mob that killed IAS officer Krishnaiah — then Gopalganj district magistrate — on 5 December, 1994.

The matter will be admitted in the apex court on Monday, after which the court is expected to issue a notice to the Bihar government.

Mohan, a Rajput community strongman, was released from Saharsa district jail in Bihar on 27 April morning following an amendment in Bihar’s Prison Manual, where anyone accused of “murder of a public servant on duty” wasn’t eligible for premature release.

“Neither a chief minister nor the prime minister should have the authority of reducing the sentence of a criminal like this. Only the Supreme Court should have the authority over that,” Uma Devi told South First.

Meanwhile, after Andhra Pradesh’s Indian Administrative Services (IAS) Association, now the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand IAS Association have reportedly objected to the Bihar government’s decision to release the gangster-turned-politician.

Related: Krishnaiah killed again, say IAS officer’s batchmates

‘Justice is continuation of sentence’

Uma Devi asserted that law and order would not prevail if each and every chief minister started taking such decisions.

T Uma Devi, wife of 1985 Bihar cadre Dalit IAS officer G Krishnaiah who was lynched by a mob in 1994 in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district

T Uma Devi, wife of 1985 Bihar cadre IAS officer G Krishnaiah who was lynched by a mob in 1994 in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district. (Ajay Tomar/South First)

She demanded that Anand Mohan’s life imprisonment continue.

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

“When my husband died, there was a law that if a public servant was killed, the convict would be sentenced to life imprisonment. There was no talk about him being released like this,” Uma Devi told South First.

Noting that the rule of the law should be uniformly applied in a country, Krishnaiah’s batchmate JRK Rao earlier told South First, “If somebody is a convict, be it a powerful man or a poor person, the law should be same for them. Several undertrial convicts are also languishing in jail, but nobody pays attention to them.”

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‘No election for convicts’

Continuing with her demands, Uma Devi said “criminals” should not have the choice to contest elections once they were convicted.

According to some political observers, the release of Anand Mohan was an effort by the ruling RJD-JD(U) in Bihar to woo voters from his powerful Rajput, or Thakur, community, as Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his Cabinet colleagues on 24 April attended Mohan’s son’s engagement function.

Anand Mohan and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar during the former's son's engagement ceremony.

Anand Mohan and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar during the former’s son’s engagement ceremony. (Twitter)

Taking note, political observers have not ruled out the possibility of Anand Mohan re-entering politics.

They have said that he might contest next year’s parliamentary elections from any constituency in Bihar’s Kosi region.

They added that now the Raghuvanshi-Yaduvanshi card would be played, unlike the Rajput-versus-Yadav narrative, which Mohan had focused on in the early 1990s.

Uma Devi is now hoping that the Supreme Court will overturn the Bihar government’s decision. “That will be justice to us. His life imprisonment should continue and he should not walk free,” she said.

Mohan was sentenced to death by Bihar lower court in 2007, along with two others. But the Patna High Court later commuted the penalty to life imprisonment. He has been in jail since 2007.

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IAS associations object to release

The Uttarakhand IAS Association urged the Bihar government to reconsider its decision of prematurely releasing Mohan.

“The decision of the state government to remit the sentence by changing the rules is not only a gross violation of the order of the Supreme Court but also sets a notorious precedent. The decision clearly ignores the principles of justice and appears to be insensitive to the pain of the victims,” it said in a statement.

Earlier, expressing deep anguish, the Uttar Pradesh IAS Association said, “We strongly appeal to the state government of Bihar to reconsider its decision at the earliest in the interest of the nation.”

1985 batch IAS officer G Krishnaiah.

1985 batch IAS officer G Krishnaiah. (Ajay Tomar/South First)

The UP IAS Association, without naming anyone, noted that the action of the state government in releasing the killer of such an excellent officer was appalling, to say the least.

“Such an action of the government will have an adverse effect on the morale of not only IAS officers but also other civil servants. An IAS officer takes an oath of allegiance to the Constitution to serve the country honestly and loyally. He or she performs duties as per the orders of the government,” it said.

“If such an officer is attacked, then it is an open challenge to the Constitution of India and to the concept and functioning of the State. If the challenge is not met with an appropriate, consistent and continuous response, it will erode the foundations of the Constitution. In this context, the orders of the State Government are unwarranted and created dangerous precedents for the future,” the UP IAS Association added.

Earlier, the Andhra Pradesh IAS Association had said that Krishnaiah was born into a humble family in Andhra Pradesh and became an IAS officer by dint of his grit and determination.

“As an IAS officer, Sri Krishnaiah always took decisions in favour for the poor and downtrodden. Even on the day when he was brutally killed, he was trying to safeguard his bodyguard from the mob,” read the statement by the IAS Association,” the AP IAS Association had said.