UP: Murder accused who escaped 37 years ago to face trial

Krishna Dev Tiwari was sentenced to life imprisonment by Allahabad High Court but was released from Basti prison in 1979 under mysterious circumstances.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: August 7, 2016 2:40 pm
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After hoodwinking the legal system for over 37 years, a murder convict is facing the proverbial long arm of law, after a charge sheet was filed against him by CBI for allegedly securing his release from a jail in Uttar Pradesh under “dubious” circumstances in 1979.

The bizarre case is of Krishna Dev Tiwari who was sentenced to life imprisonment by Allahabad High Court but was released from Basti prison in 1979 under mysterious circumstances.

Tiwari had claimed that he had served his term till 1996 but CBI, which probed the case on the orders of Supreme Court in 2015, found that he did not serve his full term and his version was found to be contradictory.

The CBI sources said in the charge sheet filed by the agency in Lucknow on July 29 his release from Basti Jail has been found “dubious”.

Based on the report from CBI, Supreme Court has now directed Tiwari and his brothers, Nand Kishore and Rama Nand, to surrender before the competent court by Monday to face trial in the case.

Tiwari along with his two brothers was convicted by a trial court under charges of murder and sentenced to undergo life imprisonment which was challenged by the accused before the Allahabad High Court.

The High Court upheld the conviction of Krishna Dev while his brothers were acquitted from murder charges but were sentenced for six months under different sections of IPC on October 16, 1978.

Upon confirmation of sentence, Krishna Dev was moved from Basti prison to Varanasi Central Prison. He was moved back to Basti prison on December 4, 1978 and was released from there on January 1, 1979.

It is alleged that Krishna Dev neither surrendered nor did he complete the sentence of life imprisonment awarded to him.

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The inquiry by Uttar Pradesh Police shows there are no records to indicate the circumstances under which Krishna Dev was released from Basti prison, the sources said, adding that even the court order or the name of judge, if at all, on the basis of which release was made is not in records.

The inquiry by Additional Director General, and DIG Gorakhpur range said all that was recorded is that Krishna Dev was released on parole under the signatures of B N Srivastava, the then Superintendent of Jail and Hari Om Saxena–in-charge convict prisoner, they said.

During an inquiry by CB-CID of Uttar Pradesh Police, Krishna Dev had claimed that he had served the sentence and remained in jail continuously up to October 2, 1996 when he was finally released after completion of his sentence.

He had claimed that he was released on parole for three months in 1979 but surrendered and served the life sentence.

After going through the Admission and Release Register at Basti Jail for 90 years, CB-CID concluded that his statement was wrong as there were no records to support his claims.

“The facts of the case at hand prima facie suggest that there is a deep-rooted malaise prevalent in the state of UP. No other interference can be drawn if a convict committed to jail can secure his release from custody in the manner noticed in the present case.

“It is unfortunate that agencies that are charged with the duty of upholding the rule of law are themselves involved in this kind of racket,” the Supreme Court had said while directing the CBI to inquire into the matter.

Upon completing its preliminary inquiry, CBI had claimed that Krishna Dev had not served his sentence and it requires further investigation which was granted by the Supreme Court on July 1.

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