Supreme Court directs Bihar to produce original records on remission granted to murder-convict ex-MP Anand Mohan

The bench recorded that counsel for the state and Mohan had appeared before it and said no further adjournments would be granted.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 19, 2023 | 5:23 PMUpdatedMay 19, 2023 | 5:28 PM

Gangster-turned-politician Anand Mohan (left) and G Krishnaiah and Umadevi (right). (Supplied)

The Supreme Court on Friday, 19 May, directed the Bihar government to produce complete original records with regard to the remission granted to former MP Anand Mohan.

He was serving a life term in the 1994 murder case of then-Gopalganj District Magistrate G Krishnaiah.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala told advocate Manish Kumar, appearing for the Bihar government, that no further adjournment would be granted in the case.

They then directed him to place the complete records for the perusal of the court.

Krishnaiah, who hailed from Telangana, was beaten to death by a mob in 1994 when his vehicle tried to go past the funeral procession of gangster Chhotan Shukla in the Muzaffarpur district of Bihar.

Mohan, then an MLA, was leading the procession.

Meanwhile, the court also listed the plea filed by the wife of the slain officer challenging the release of Mohan on 8 August.

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

Proceedings in court

At the outset, Kumar sought some time to file a reply to the plea.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Uma Krishnaiah, the wife of the slain officer, said the state government has changed the policy retrospectively and released him in the case.

He urged the bench to direct the state to place entire records of criminal antecedents of Mohan and sought the matter to be listed in August.

The bench recorded that counsel for the state government and Mohan had appeared before it and said no further adjournments will be granted.

“Original records with regard to remission to respondent-4 (Anand Mohan) by order dated 10 April, 2023, be placed before the court,” the bench said, adding that records with regard to criminal antecedents be also placed before it.

Advocate Shoeb Alam appeared for an intervenor and sought permission to assist the court in the matter.

The bench said, “Don’t politicise the matter. We are on a purely legal issue and would not allow any intervention. If we feel there is a necessity, we will allow all the concerned at the bar to assist in the matter.”

On 8 May, the apex court sought responses from the Centre and the Bihar government on a plea.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and JK Maheshwari issued notices to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Bihar government, and Mohan on the plea.

Related: Bihar order is in teeth of court directions, says wife of slain IAS officer

‘An unfortunate matter’

In the Supreme Court on Monday, senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Uma Krishnaiah, said the release of Anand Mohan was an unfortunate matter. The bench said it was issuing notice on the plea.

Mohan was released from the Saharsa jail on 27 April following an amendment in Bihar’s prison rules.

The petitioner has contended that life imprisonment awarded to the gangster-turned-politician 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 before the Supreme Court.

‘Only SC has the authority’

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

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

She demanded that Anand Mohan’s life imprisonment continue.

Mohan’s name figured in a list of more than 20 prisoners who were ordered to be set free under a notification issued by the state’s Law Department, as they had spent more than 14 years behind bars.

The remission of his sentence followed a 10 April 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.

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

(With PTI inputs)