Dehradun, Oct 24: A Special Court here today sentenced former Uttar Pradesh Minister Amarmani Tripathi and his wife Madhumani to life imprisonment in connection with the murder of poetess Madhumita Shukla.
Besides Amarmani and Madhumani, who are the main accused in the case, a court also awarded life imprisonment to two other accused - Rohit Chaturvedi and Santosh Roy .
Another accused, Prakash Pandey was acquitted by the court. District and Sessions Judge V B Roy also imposes a fine of Rs 50,000 each on the convicts.
Twenty-six-year-old Madhumita was shot dead at her River Bank Colony residence in Lucknow by two assailants on May 8, 2003. The case was transferred to the Court of District and Sessions Judge V B Roy from Lucknow on the orders of the Supreme Court earlier this year.
In March, the trial was began in Dehradun after apprehensions were expressed by Madhumita"s family that Tripathi may prevent a free and fair trial in Uttar Pradesh, as in the past also, he had tried to influence the course of investigations. He was also getting VIP treatment in jail.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigated the case. So far seventy nine witnesses have appeared in the case. Madhumita"s sister Nidhi and her servant Desraj were key witnesses.
The case assumed a political dimension after Nidhi alleged that Madhumita was in a relationship with Tripathi.
Nidhi alleged that Madhumani was behind the murder because she was opposed to her husband's relationship with Madhumita. Tripathi, however, strongly denied his wife"s role in the murder. Charges were framed against five accused, including Tripathi.
The CBI has claimed that Tripathi and Madhumani allegedly conspired to eliminate Madhumita as she was carrying Tripathi"s child.