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SC seeks status report on 1975 case

New Delhi: Expressing shock and surprise at the protracted delay of 36 years, the Supreme Court on Wednesday sought from the Centre a status report on the trial relating to the 1975 Samastipur blast that killed Railway Minister LN Mishra and reserved its judgement in CJI AN Ray attack case.

While Mishra was killed on January 2, 1975 in Bihar, Ray survived the bomb attack that took place at the Bhagwan Das Road near Supreme Court on March 20, 1975 in New Delhi. The CBI, which conducted investigations, alleged that the banned Anand Margis was behind the attack.

Though in the attack on Justice Ray, a Delhi sessions court on November 1, 1976, convicted and sentenced to 17 years suspected Anand Margis Santoshanand and Sudevananad and advocate Ranjan Dwivedi to four years RI. Their conviction was based on the confessional statements of Sudevanand alias Vikram who turned an approver for the CBI.
Railway Minister LN Mishra was killed in 1975 Samastipur blast in Bihar.

Since then the appeal of the convicts are pending in the Delhi High Court. The trial of the Mishra case was transferred from Samastipur to Delhi in 1979 on an application moved by the then Attorney General. However, 32 years after that, the case is yet to conclude in the sessions court and nobody no knows about its fate.

In the meantime Vikram moved an application before the Delhi High Court pleading that his confessional statements and decision to turn an approver was done due to coercion by the CBI. The Delhi High Court in 2006 dismissed his application, aggrieved by which he appealed in the apex court.

The apex court on Wednesday while dealing with the application expressed "shock and surprise" at the delay in the trial pertaining to the two blasts. Hence it sought a status report from the Centre on the Samastipur blast. It also reserved its judgement on Vikram`s plea challenging the high court`s decision to quash his plea. Counsel ML Lahoty is appearing for Vikram in the case.

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