Three weeks after former minister Amarmani Tripathi and his wife Madhumani,serving life term after being convicted in a murder case,sent a mercy petition to Uttar Pradesh Governor B L Joshi seeking pardon,the state Prison and Reform Department has questioned the maintainability of their plea citing jurisdiction.
The duo and two others were convicted of murdering poetess Madhumita Shukla and awarded the sentence by a CBI court of Dehradun in Uttarakhand,where the trial was transferred from UP on a Supreme Court directive. The prison department officials say since the case was adjudged in Uttarakhand,the UP Governor may not have the jurisdiction to decide on the mercy petition.
Amarmani has sought pardon to him and his wife on the grounds of failing health and their responsibilities towards their family,including two daughters and one son who are unmarried.
However,Madhumitas younger sister Nidhi Shukla had filed a petition with the Governors office,requesting him to reject the mercy petition citing Amarmanis long criminal history and threat to her family if he came out of the jail.
Since there is a confusion over jurisdiction,I also filed a petition at Uttarakhand Governors office, she said.
Stating that her family got justice after a 11-year long legal battle,Nidhi said,I have come to know that the ruling party in UP is helping Amarmani. So,I have requested both the Governors to reject his mercy plea.
Both Amarmani and Madhumita are at present admitted to BR Medical College at Gorakhpur for treatment.
On May 8,2003,two assailants had shot dead 26-year-old Madhumita at her Lucknow residence. Later,her sister Nidhi claimed that Madhumita was in a relationship with Amarmani,a minister in the Mayawati-led BSP government,and he had got her killed.
Mayawati expelled Amarmani from the party and referred the case to the CBI,which arrested him,his wife and other accused. Following a petition by Nidhi,the trial was transferred to Uttarakhand by the Supreme Court.
In 2007,the CBI court convicted Amarmani,Madhumani,and two others for hatching a conspiracy and killing Madhumita. In July 2012,the Uttarakhand High Court upheld the life term awarded by the CBI court to all four. The court also awarded life imprisonment to Prakash Pandey,another associate of Tripathi who was earlier let off by the CBI court.