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The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its order on a plea to quash the trial in the murder case of former Railway Minister L N Mishra on account of extraordinary delay of 37 years.

A bench comprising justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad had commenced the hearing on July 25 on the petition filed by 65-year-old advocate Ranjan Dwivedi seeking quashing of the trial against him in the 1975 Mishra murder case.

His counsel and senior advocate T R Andhyarujina described the case as “unique” and did not go by the apex court’s suggestion that the trial court should be asked to conclude the trial within three months and instead stuck to the stand that extraordinary delay was a sufficient ground to bring an end to the case.

 However, the CBI opposed his plea and said since the trial was in a concluding stage, it should be allowed to continue to its logical end. The bench had said it will scrutinise the aspect of delay after 1991 as the apex court had in that year dealt with the Mishra murder case along with other cases in which it was held that speedy trial was the fundamental right of the accused under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Mishra was killed in a bomb blast at a function at Samastipur Railway station in Bihar on January 3, 1975, and Dwivedi, who was 24 years old at that time, was made accused along with four Anand Margas members, one of whom has died.

The charge sheet in the case was filed on November 1, 1977, in a CBI court in Patna and later in 1979 it was shifted to the national capital after the then Attorney General had made a plea in the apex court.

Source: PTI

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