The Allahabad High Court has rejected the bail application of former MLA Vijay Kumar in connection with the alleged abduction and murder of National Informatics Centre (NIC) engineer Shikhar Srivastava, whose body was found in January, 2015 in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki district. Kumar had won the 2012 Assembly election on a BSP ticket from Bansgaon seat in Gorakhpur.
In an order on August 10, Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh said, “I am of the opinion that the accused-applicant is not entitled to be enlarged on bail at this stage. The bail application of the accused-applicant, Dr. Vijay Kumar is hereby rejected.”
As per the order, Kumar and his wife Mradula Anand, who was posted as a District Inspector of Schools in Bahraich, were accused of murdering Srivastava after they had taken Rs 3.5 lakh from the victim while promising him a government job. On the morning of January 1, 2015, Srivastav’s body was found on a road in Badosari area of Ramnagar in Barabanki. As per the post-mortem report, the cause of death was hemorrhage and shock as a result of antemortem injuries. Kumar was arrested on February 1, 2019 – four years after the alleged crime took place.
As per the high court’s order, during investigation, police found that the co-accused Mradula and the deceased were having “illicit relations”. “In his confessional statement to the police, Kumar had alleged that when he came to know about the illicit relations between the deceased and his wife, he tried to reason with him through other people, who are co-accused in the case,” the order stated. “The deceased did not stop, and then the accused-applicant (Kumar) asked his wife Mradula Anand to call the deceased on the date of the incident. When he reached, he was killed with bricks and stones and his body was thrown away,” read the court order.
Advocate Vijay Vikram Singh, who represented the former MLA, told the court that Kumar has been in jail for more than three and half years and trial has not yet progressed.
In a report from the local court, the high court was informed that Mradula, who is out on a short-term bail, has been evading the process of the court on one pretext or other, therefore, the charge has not yet been framed.
“…this court finds substance in the arguments of the prosecution that the accused- applicant will be in a position to influence the witnesses and tamper with the evidence if he is released on bail,” the court observed and rejected Kumar’s bail application.