The Uttarakhand High Court today upheld the life imprisonment awarded to former Samajwadi Party MLA Amarmani Tripathi, his wife and two others in poetess Madhumita Shukla's murder case.
A division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Barin Ghosh and Justice UC Dhayani also awarded life imprisonment to Prakash Pandey, who was earlier let off by the Dehradun CBI court for want of evidence.
Rejecting the petition of the four convicts, the court said that no relief can be granted to Amarmani or any other convict since their role in Madhumita Shukla's murder has been proved by the CBI, said Virednra Singh Adhikari, counsel for Nidhi Shukla, sister of the slain poetess.
The court also directed the trial court to take Pandey into custody immediately. Amarmani Tripathi, his wife Madhumani and two others, Rohit Chaturvedi and Santosh Kumar Rai, were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Dehradun court in 2007 for hatching a conspiracy and killing Shukla in Lucknow in 2003.
The investigations revealed that the poetess was pregnant when she was murdered and both Pandey and Rai went to her house and shot her dead.
Today's ruling is a setback for Tripathi, who has made several attempts in the past to get bail to be able to contest state Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.