“We will take it up on any non-miscellaneous day in September,” said a bench comprising Justice Surya Kant and Dipankar Datta, while posting the plea for hearing on September 26.
Notably, Justice Kant is a part of the 5-judge Constitution Bench which is hearing the batch of pleas challenging abrogation of Article 370, consecutively from August 2, except for Mondays and Fridays.
During the hearing, senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Bihar government, apprised the bench that the state government considered remission of 97 convicted persons on the same day and it did not solely grant remission to gangster-turned-politician Anand Mohan.
At this, Justice Dipankar Datta said: “Were all these 97 people charged for murdering a public servant? Their case is that the policy was changed to release him (Anand Mohan).”
In response, Kumar said that he will file a detailed response categorizing the convicts who were granted remission, on the basis of their offences.
The top court allowed the Bihar government to file an additional counter affidavit within a period of two weeks. It also granted a period of one week to the petitioner to file a rejoinder affidavit, if any.
Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for the widow of slain bureaucrat, told the court that the state government has not furnished him with the copy of the official files pertaining to the case.
Notably, the Bihar government has submitted before the court the original records in connection with the remission granted to the former MP following the Supreme Court orders.
On Friday, the apex court asked the petitioner Uma Krishnaiah, the wife of G. Krishnaiah, to apply before the state government to obtain the copy of original files pertaining to the case.
In its counter affidavit, the state government had told the Supreme Court that the amendment, which purportedly felicitated early release of gangster-turned-politician, was sought to remove the discrimination on the basis of status of a victim.
“The punishment for murder of general public or a public servant is the same. On the one hand, the life convict prisoner guilty of murder of general public is considered eligible for premature release and on the other hand, the life convict prisoner guilty of murder of a public servant is not eligible for consideration for premature release. The discrimination on the basis of status of a victim was sought to be removed,” it said.
Anand Mohan Singh was released from the Saharsa jail following an amendment in Bihar’s prison rules.
The petition alleged that the Bihar government amended the Bihar Prison Manual, 2012 with retrospective effect vide amendment dated April 10, 2023, in order to ensure that the convict, Anand Mohan, be granted the benefit of remission.
In 1994, Krishnaiah, then District Magistrate of Gopalganj, was beaten to death by a mob when his vehicle tried to overtake the funeral procession of gangster Chhotan Shukla. The mob was instigated by Anand Mohan Singh.