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Septuagenarian undertrial absolved of murder charges after 38 years

Written by: Staff
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Faizabad (UP), Apr 20 (UNI) After 38-year-detention sans trial, Jagjivan Ram Yadav, the 70-year-old, presently out here on bail, was today acquitted from murder charges lodged way back in 1968.

Fifth Additional and Sessions Judge Lalchand Tripathi, who reserved his judgement in the case on April 12, today acquitted Jagjivan from charges under section 302 of the IPC registered against him in 1968.

The court also withdrew the personal bonds given by the accused in response to the bail granted to him in February after the Supreme Court intervened for his release following a UNI report on his plight.

The Judge reserved his judgement in the case for April 20 after all the witnesses and the doctor failed to turn up to record their evidence before the court. All the police records of the murder case were also missing from the court and the police station.

Public prosecutor Shailesh Mishra did not oppose the acquittal of Jagjivan as all the witnesses in the murder case failed to turn up.

Jagjivan's counsel Ramkrishna Yadav maintained that there was no material evidence against his client hence the court had no other option than to acquit him from the charges.

The counsel now might move for compensation of Rs 20 lakhs before the court on the ground of minimum wages of 38 years during his jail term.

Jagjivan was charged with the murder of his neighbour's wife in 1968 but all the witnesses and the doctor, who performed the post mortem on the deceased, failed to turn up in the court.

On February six, the Supreme Court issued notices to the UP government and the Registrar General of the Allahabad High Court.

The SC bench comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal and Justice C K Thakker, directed both the respondents to file their replies and place on record all relevant facts of the case.

Later UP government termed the 38-year-detention of Jagjivan in a state jail a ''judicial error,'' and blamed the court for not taking any congnizance for such a long time leading to loss of all relevant documents of the case.

Subsequently Jagjivan was granted bail in the case. Jagjivan Ram Yadav's plight came to light when Faizabad district rejected his bail application as no case record was made available to the court since it was missing from the police file. The trial court could neither grant him bail nor expedite the trial because no case record existed.

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