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Judiciary

‘UP, not Uttarakhand to decide remission plea’, SC on plea by convict in murder of poetess Madhumita Shukla [Read Order]

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      23 December, 2023 08:17 PM      0 Comments
UP not Uttarakhand to decide remission plea SC on plea by convict in murder of poetess Madhumita Shukla Read Order

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has said that the state, where the offence was committed, will consider the remission plea of the convict instead of the state where trial was transferred.

A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Augustine George Masih said law in this regard has been settled in the case of Radheyshyam Bhagwandas Shah alias Lala Vakil, a convict in the Bilkis Bano case.

A writ petition was filed by a convict in the murder of poetess Madhumita Shukla, claiming that UP government is proper authority to consider his plea for premature release, after the Uttarakhand, where the trial was transferred by the top court, rejected his plea.

The poetess was found murdered at her River Bank Colony residence in Lucknow on May 9, 2003.

In 2007, a Dehradun court awarded life term to former Uttar Pradesh minister Amarmani Tripathi, his wife Madhumani for murdering poetess Madhumita Shukla. Co-accused Santosh Rai and Rohit Chaturvedi have also been given life sentences.

The court noted that petitioner, Rohit Chaturvedi, has been convicted under Section 120-B read with Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code by the special judge, Dehradun.

The trial in the case was transferred from Uttar Pradesh to Uttarakhand by an order passed by the apex court on February 8, 2007.

In its order passed on December 15, the court noted that the petitioner wants his plea for premature release in terms of the remission policy formulated under Section 433 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, to be considered. “It appears that the prayer for remission was originally made before the Union of India and the same was sent to the State of Uttarakhand. The State of Uttarakhand has examined the issue and rejected his plea. The point now being raised by the petitioner is that the Government of Uttar Pradesh would have been the proper authority for considering the remission plea as the offence had occurred within that State," the bench said.

Relying upon the Bilkis Bano case, the bench said, “This appears to be the position of law, as enunciated by a coordinate bench of this court in the case of Radheshyam Bhagwandas Shah Alias Lala Vakil Vs. State of Gujarat and another (2022)”.

The court said that this being the position of law, the entire exercise conducted by the Uttarakhand appears to be without jurisdiction and hence not sustainable under the law.

“We, accordingly, direct that the remission plea which was filed by the petitioner-convict be sent to the Home Secretary, State of Uttar Pradesh by the State of Uttarakhand. This shall be done within a period of three weeks from date. Thereafter, the State of Uttar Pradesh shall examine the question and take a decision in that regard within a further period of eight weeks," the apex court said.

The court also said Uttar Pradesh will consider the plea without being influenced in any manner by the order passed by Uttarakhand and any observation made therein.
 

[Read Order]



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