| Vijay Krishna and (right) his son Chanakya (in black) leave the court on Wednesday. Pictures by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Convicted RJD national general secretary Vijay Krishna will have to serve a life term in prison for the murder of a transporter four years ago.
Additional district judge N.K. Srivastava, who pronounced the order, also handed out sentences of life imprisonment to Krishna’s son Chanakya Singh, servant Gagan Kumar and bodyguard Umesh Singh.
The judge had on Monday held all four guilty of the murder of transporter Satyendra Singh on May 23, 2009.
Krishna, a former MP who had famously defeated Nitish Kumar in the now delimited Barh Lok Sabha seat in the 2004 elections, was convicted under sections 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) of the Indian Penal Code and was asked to pay a penalty of Rs 30,000 penalty as well.
Chanakya, who was found to have pulled the trigger on Satyendra Singh, was convicted under sections 302, 201 and section 27 of the Arms Act.
The judge read out his order shortly after 1pm. A gloomy looking Krishna, speaking to The Telegraph, said he had not got justice. “I am innocent and have been framed under a political conspiracy. I will take further legal steps after talking to my lawyers,” he said.
Laxmi Singh, the widow of the slain transporter, expressed satisfaction over the verdict. “I would have been happier had Vijay Krishna been awarded capital punishment. But even a life imprisonment is justice for me. I have been present at all hearings of the case. Sometimes I had to face threats and was even offered money to keep silent. I once had immense faith in Vijay Krishna. He broke that faith,” she said.
Earlier in the day, the prosecution pressed hard for the death penalty for Krishna and his son, stressing that the murder fitted in the “rarest of the rare” category. Prosecution lawyer J.P. Singh described the murder as “cold-blooded, brutal, pre-planned and without provocation”.
However, defence lawyer R.D. Singh said the evidence against Krishna was circumstantial in nature and hence, his offence could not be described as “rarest of the rare”.