Patna Court awards life imprisonment to three accused in Dubey murder case

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Patna, Mar 27 (ANI): A Patna Sessions Court on Saturday sentenced all the three accused of the murder of National Highway engineer Satyendra Dubey to life imprisonment.

Additional Session Judge Raghvendra Kumar Singh sentenced three accused-Mantu Kumar, Udai Kumar and Pinku Ravidas-to undergo life imprisonment.

On Monday, the court convicted accused Mantu Kumar under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 302 (Murder), 394 (Voluntary causing hurt in committing robbery) and 27 (A) Arms Act for possessing unlicensed weapon.

The other two accused were convicted under Section 302/34 (Murder committed in furtherance of common intention) and 394 IPC.

Dubey was a project director at the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

On November 27, 2003, Dubey was shot dead in the early hours in front of a Circuit House in Bihar's Gaya District.

In December 2003 the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the investigation from Bihar Police and arrested four persons --Mantu Kumar, Udai Kumar, Pinku Ravidas and Sharvan Kumar, all residents of Katari village in Gaya District.

According to the CBI, on the night of 27 November 2003, the accused robbed Dubey of his belongings and during the ensuing scuffle, Mantu Kumar shot him dead with a .315 country-made pistol.

A fourth accused Sharvan Kumar gave a full and voluntary disclosure about the incident after turning approver.

Faced with the possibility of high-level corruption within the NHAI, Dubey wrote directly to the then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, detailing the financial and contractual irregularities in the project.

While the letter was not signed, he attached a separate bio-data so that the matter would be taken more seriously.

According to the CBI, during the investigation of the aforesaid case, the agency learnt that Dubey had earlier addressed a confidential letter to the then Prime Minister Vajapayee, which was received in the PMO on November 11, 2002.

"The letter highlighted the areas of the National Highway Development Project "Golden Quadrilateral South-North, East-West Corridor" which were prone to corruption and required corrective measures," the CBI said.

Vide his letter, Dubey had requested to keep his identity secret while emphasising the information as credible.

Dubey had also suggested steps to verify the information contained in the said letter. He had further addressed a letter dated May 2, 2003 to the Chief Vigilance Officer of the NHAI, with the objective of improving the system so as to achieve the optimum and desired output in the implementation of the project, the CBI said.

The information as contained in his letters was further developed into credible information by investigators and a separate case was registered on September 26, 2004 in New Delhi against the Senior Officers of NHAI and the construction company, the CBI added.

The case is presently under trial in the Court of Special Judge (South) Patna.

In a statement the CBI said, the investigation into the case of robbery and murder of Dubey was pursued in all plausible directions including possible conspiracy hatched by the contractors and mafia to eliminate him as alleged by Dubey's brother Dhananjay Kumar.

During the investigations the CBI examined a number of officials, contractors and engineers connected with the NHAI Project, with reference to the issues raised by deceased Dubey in his letter addressed to the Prime Minister.

The CBI also cross examined Dubey's close friends to find out if he had disclosed any threat to his life particularly from any contractor or mafia after he had sent the complaint to the Prime Minister of India.

The investigating agency also examined Dubey's personal staff including his stenographer, peon and driver.

However, the CBI said no evidence came on record showing that the contractors eliminated Dubey under any conspiracy or mafia as alleged in the complaint of his brother.

In a statement the CBI spokesperson, Harsh Bhal, said in New Delhi that the investigating agency is fully committed to protecting the whistle blower against his or her harassment or victimization etc.

CBI Special Prosecutor L.R. Ansari argued the case in the Court.

Dubey's murder drew several protests in India and abroad, especially by the media.

Student and Alumni bodies of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) took the lead in raising this issue.

The S. K. Dubey Foundation for Fight Against Corruption was founded in the US by Dubey's IIT Kanpur batchmates to systematically fight against corruption.

IIT Kanpur instituted an annual award in his name, Satyendra K Dubey Memorial Award, to be given to an IIT alumnus for displaying highest professional integrity in upholding human alues.(ANI)

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