The Allahabad High Court recently rejected the bail application filed by former Bihar MLA Narendra Kumar Pandey, popularly known as Sunil Pandey, in the 2022 Mirzapur shooting case.
On August 14 last year, a person named Kanhaiya Prasad was killed when he visited the Ashtabhuja temple in Vindhyachal, Mirzapur. Allegedly, when Kanhaiya and his family members were cooking food near the temple vehicle stand, an altercation took place with another group that was cooking non-vegetarian food.
As per the FIR, one of the group members who was cooking non-veg food had stated that they were Pandey’s henchmen and exhorted to kill Kanhaiya. Thereafter, Kanhaiya was shot and the culprits fled the scene. The victim was then taken to a hospital which referred him to Varanasi where he later died.
Initially, a case was lodged under sections 307, 147, 148, 149, 504, and 506 of the Indian Penal Code read with section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act. However, after Kanhaiya’s death, sections 302 and 120-B of IPC were added.
Kanhaiya’s post-mortem report showed several injuries that caused his death. Pandey had allegedly inflicted those injuries on Kanhaiya.
However, while arguing for Pandey’s bail plea, his counsel argued that the politician’s name came to light only on the basis of hearsay evidence. There is no direct evidence regarding his presence at the place of the incident, he submitted.
The counsel further argued that though it was a spur-of-the-moment incident, allegations against Pandey had been raised that there was a criminal conspiracy to kill Kanahiya.
He alleged that Pandey had been implicated in the case only because he has been an MLA from Janata Dal (United) and has a criminal history.
The additional government advocate, however, submitted that Pandey’s presence in the place of the incident had been fully established by electronic evidence.
His mobile phone was put on surveillance and his tower location would establish that he was present at the place of the incident; an investigation is still on and at this stage he should not be let out on bail, the AGA argued.
The single-judge bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh took note of the fact that Pandey is one of the “bahubalis" of Bihar politics and has nine cases against him.
Therefore, considering the heinousness of the offence, Pandey’s criminal antecedents, and the fact that an innocent person got killed in a “gruesome and dastardly manner", the court did not find it to be a fit case for grant of bail.
However, the single-judge bench added that once the witnesses of fact get examined, Pandey may revive his bail plea, if he is so advised.
Read all the Latest India News here