SC seeks centre to reply on premature release of Bihar politician Anand Mohan, ET LegalWorld


The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the centre to file a reply on Uma Krishnaiah’s plea challenging the premature release of Bihar politician Anand Mohan from prison and adjourned the matter for further hearing on February 27.

A bench of justices, Surya Kant and KV Vishwanathan, gave another opportunity to the center to file its response.

Meanwhile, the court also asked Anand Mohan to surrender his passport at the local police station and to record his presence at the local police station every fortnight.

The court was hearing the plea challenging Anand Mohan’s premature release. IAS officer G. Krishnaiah’s wife, Uma Krishnaiah, has filed the plea challenging the premature release of the Bihar politician.

Uma Krishnaiah, in the plea, said that the state of Bihar has specially brought about an amendment to the Bihar Prison Manual 2012 with retrospective effect vide Amendment dated April 10, 2023, in order to ensure that the convict, Anand Mohan, be granted the benefit of remission.

She said that the amendment dated April 10, 2023, is against the notification dated December 12, 2002, as well as against public policy and has resulted in the demoralisation of the civil servants in the state; therefore, it suffers from the vice of malafide and is manifestly arbitrarily and is contrary to the idea of a welfare state.

Gangster-turned-politician Anand Mohan Singh, a convict in the then District Magistrate G Krishnaiah case, walked free from Saharsa jail before the break of dawn on April 27.

He was serving a life sentence in the 1994 murder of then Gopalganj District Magistrate G Krishnaiah. After the Bihar government amended the rules of the jail manual, an official notification stated that 27 prisoners who have served 14 years or 20 years in jail have been ordered to be released.

Anand Mohan was convicted in the murder case of Gopalganj District Magistrate G. Krishnaiah on December 5, 1994, in Muzaffarpur. Krishnaiah was killed by a mob allegedly provoked by Anand Mohan Singh. He was dragged out of his official car and lynched.

Anand Mohan was sentenced to death by a trial court in 2007. A year later, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by the Patna High Court. Mohan then challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court but no relief has been granted yet and he has remained in Saharsa jail since 2007.

Bihar politician Anand Mohan had earlier filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court defending the Bihar government’s decision to give him premature release and said that the power of remission has not been exercised in an arbitrary manner and there was no procedural lapse in the decision.

Anand Mohan has filed an affidavit to a plea challenging his premature release. Anand Mohan’s affidavit was a response to slain IAS officer G Krishnaiah’s wife Uma Krishnaiah’s plea challenging the premature release of Anand Mohan

Anand Mohan, in his affidavit before the Supreme Court, said that the power of remission has not been exercised in an arbitrary manner and there was no procedural lapse in the decision. The decision was taken only after a cumulative consideration of all relevant factors by all authorities at various stages, the affidavit said.

Earlier, the Bihar government informed the Supreme Court that slain IAS officer G. Krishnaiah’s wife Uma Krishnaiah’s plea challenging the premature release of Anand Mohan from prison is not maintainable and urged the top court to dismiss it.

In the affidavit filed in the top court, the Bihar government has told the Supreme Court that slain IAS officer G Krishnaiah’s wife Uma Krishnaiah’s plea is not maintainable and said that there are no fundamental rights involved in the matter related to the remission policy of the state since the remission is always between the state and the convicts.

Defending its decision, the Bihar government informed the Supreme Court that the victim and/or his relative have not been conferred with any right to interfere in the state remission policy framed under an Act or Constitutional provisions.

The Bihar government has informed the Supreme Court that the state has formulated a remission policy to regulate the grant of remission to convicts. Any such policy only confers certain benefits and rights upon the convict and it does not take away any rights of the victim. Therefore, a victim cannot claim violation of fundamental rights to file a petition under Article 32, the Bihar government told the Supreme Court.

The Bihar government stated, “The petitioner has alleged violation of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution. In fact, the convicts claiming remission also approach the court for violation of Article 14 and 21. The victim has not been deprived of any of her rights due to a change in policy or grant of remission to the respondent.”

The Bihar government further said that all enactments and subordinate legislation come with a presumption of constitutionality and it is up to the individual challenging an enactment to display how the same suffers from a constitutional vice.

“In the present case, not a single ground has been averred, much less shown, to disclose how the amendment may possibly be ultra virus the constitutional scheme. As such, the petition is clearly devoid of merit,” the Bihar Government said.

The state government had also submitted that it is committed to ensuring the protection and security of all public servants. In this regard, sufficient provisions exist under the law to act as a deterrent to persons who may consider committing such offence.

The Bihar Government had submitted that the petitioner had not made his case establishing any omission or transgression of powers by the state government in bringing out the amendment in question.

Justifying its decision, the Bihar Government said that the petitioner attempts to proffer a very simplistic view of the matter when she seeks to draw a straight line between the amendment to the manual and the release of the prisoners and further added this is certainly not the case and any person eligible for remission will have to have their cases considered in terms of Rule 482 of the manual.

  • Published On Feb 6, 2024 at 10:05 PM IST

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