Lucknow, Oct. 6: The special CBI court today rejected the bail application of former Uttar Pradesh minister Amarmani Tripathi, the prime accused in the Madhumita Shukla murder case, and remanded him in judicial custody till October 20.
A member of former chief minister Mayavati’s council of ministers, Tripathi was arrested by the CBI last month after DNA tests confirmed that he fathered the unborn child the Hindi poet was carrying when she was shot dead in her flat on May 9.
Tripathi was produced before special CBI court magistrate Ram Murti Yadav after 14 days of grilling in Delhi and Lucknow during which he was subjected to a lie detector test and confronted with other witnesses, including Madhumita’s family members.
The magistrate rejected the bail application after hearing both bureau and defence lawyers. He also turned down the CBI’s request for extension of remand and ordered that Tripathi should be held in judicial custody for 14 days. The court said the defence had not been able to substantiate its claim that Tripathi should be released on bail because of his illness. It said the matter was such that it could only be decided by the sessions court.
The magistrate also rejected an application by Tripathi’s wife, Madhumani, seeking permission to surrender in the court to prevent her arrest by the CBI. Madhumani has moved Allahabad High Court, too, for a directive to the CBI not to arrest her. The court has fixed October 9 for hearing the petition.
CBI sources said Tripathi’s interrogation had not only confirmed his intimate relationship with the slain poet but also provided important clues pointing towards hired killers.
While in CBI custody, Tripathi had been brought face to face with Madhumita’s mother and sister as well as IIT Kanpur student Anuj Mishra whom he allegedly tried to frame.
According to CBI officials, Madhumita’s servant has confessed that he was forced to plant the story of her marriage with Mishra. The priest who claimed to have performed the marriage has also confessed that he was forced to lie by some state police officials to save Tripathi.
“Though Mishra’s testimony does not have a direct bearing on the murder investigation, it is important to charge Tripathi’s helpers with destruction of evidence,” a CBI official said.
He indicated that some state police officers might also find themselves in the dock along with Tripathi when the CBI files its chargesheet.
The CBI has grilled nearly a dozen police officials who handled the case before the bureau took over. It is now ready to cross-examine some senior officials, including an inspector-general and a superintendent, who tried to influence early investigations.