The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on Friday upheld the trial court judgment of life imprisonment given to former Samajwadi Party MLA Vijay Singh and jailed gangster Sanjeev Maheshwari in the 1997 murder case of senior BJP leader and MLA Brahm Dutt Dwivedi. Dwivedi was shot dead in Farrukhabad district in February 1997. The case was investigated by the CBI.
Singh, a two-time MLA, had also contested the recent Assembly elections from Farrukhabad seat on a Samajwadi Party ticket, but had lost to Dwivedi’s son Sunil Dutt, who contested on a BJP ticket. On July 17, 2003, the CBI court in Lucknow had sentenced Maheshwari and Singh to life imprisonment in the case. Both convicts had challenged the judgment and filed an appeal in high court. Special Public Prosecutor, CBI, Rishad Murtaza said, “The divisional bench of Justices Vijay Laxmi and Ajai Lamba dismissed both appeals filed by Vijay Singh and Sanjeev Maheshwari today.”
The court also directed Singh, who was out on bail, to surrender before the sessions court, failing which the court was directed to take necessary steps to get him arrested. Maheshwari is already lodged in Mainpuri district jail in connection with the BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai murder case. Maheshwari’s wife Payal had unsuccessfully contested the Assembly polls from Muzaffarnagar on an RLD ticket.
Dwivedi’s son Sunil Dutt on Friday told The Indian Express that his father, who was then sitting BJP MLA from Farrukhabad, was killed while he was seated in his car after attending a tilak ceremony on February 10, 1997, in City Kotwali area. His gunner BK Tiwari was also killed in the attack, while his driver Rinku had suffered injuries. An FIR was then lodged against Singh and three unidentified persons at the city Kotwali police station.