Giridih, June 16: He was barely three years old when the Pirtand double murder took place, but that did not stand in his way when it came to helping former chief minister Shibu Soren walk free not only in this case, but in two other murder cases as well.
Meet 39-year-old Prakash Sahay, Shibu Soren’s counsel and the only lawyer to have turned out for Soren consistently since 2004, when the case was reopened.
The Pirtand double murder case outcome was important for the Jharkhand Mukhti Morcha chief, for if the 66-year-old JMM leader had been found guilty of murder, it would have probably meant the end of his political career.
“When I took charge of the case, it was a challenge for me. As an established lawyer in Giridih, I had to maintain my reputation as a first class lawyer. There was no way out but to win the case,” Sahay told to The Telegraph.
The first challenge he faced was getting hold of all the relevant documents. “Being an old case, the documents related to it were in the worst possible condition,” said the lawyer. Along with Sahay, it was Sanjiv Kumar who defended the Dumka MP in the case.
In six years, the case has seen five judges — Manoranjan Kavi, S.K. Yadav, Radha Mohan Tiwari, N. N. Singh and finally Md. Kasim. The only person who remained constant throughout the trial was Sahay.
Despite being one of the youngest lawyers of Giridih, Sahay, who has done his schooling from Carmel School, Giridih, and graduation from Giridih College, followed by an LLB from Patna, is well known in the legal circuit.
Sahay’s father U.S. Sahay and brother P. Sahay are well known doctors of Giridih, but he being the second youngest in the family chose the legal profession as a career.
“When the Shashinath Jha murder case went against Soren, it was my job to defend him. But finally, we won,” Sahay said with a smile.
Praise has been abundant from the party. “It’s because of him that we have had to turn to high court and supreme court lawyers only rarely. In small towns, it is tough to find such a professional lawyer,” said Sudipt Kumar Sonu a close aide of Soren.
Little wonder then that as soon as verdict was announced yesterday, Soren headed for Sahay’s residence to say his thanks.
It was at Sahay’s place that he chose to have a celebratory lunch along with his party loyalists.