Ranchi, April 21: Jharkhand High Court today upheld the conviction of former Congress legislator Sawna Lakra, who was sentenced to life imprisonment by a lower court last year for murdering his granddaughter’s boyfriend.
A division bench of Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Amitav Kumar Gupta dismissed Lakra’s appeal against the order passed by the court of judicial commissioner S.H. Kazmi on May 13, 2013.
The lower court had found the former Khijri MLA and three of his aides — driver Gopi Kachchap, bodyguard Janak Mahto and personal assistant Dinesh Kumar — guilty of killing 23-year-old Garhwa youth Avinash Tiwari in 2011 to “protect” family honour. Avinash, who used to work at a private firm, had gone to meet Lakra’s granddaughter in Ranchi on April 24, 2013, when he went missing.
His body was recovered from near a culvert in Karra, Khunti, on April 27.
Investigations later revealed that Avinash was abducted by Mahto, Kachchap and Kumar and taken to Lakra’s farmhouse at Chota Kawali village, about 2km from Bargama in Namkum block. Avinash managed to call up his friend Raj Kamal Pandey and informed him about his captivity before Mahto seized his mobile phone.
Forensic report showed that Mahto had shot him dead with his service revolver.
PIL against seizure
Jharkhand High Court on Monday directed the Centre, state government and the state election commission to submit their affidavits in response to a PIL filed against search and seizure of money by police during the Lok Sabha elections in the state.
In the PIL, petitioner Praveen Lohia alleged that police had been harassing common people travelling with cash and confiscating their money, presuming that it would be used in campaigns.