UPA’s central minister convicted for Murder

published on November 28, 2006

Shibu resigns after Court convicts him in Jha murder case


New Delhi, Nov 28: Shibu Soren was today held guilty of involvement in the killing of his Private Secretary Shashi Nath Jha 12 years ago by a Delhi court in the first such conviction of a Union Minister in a murder case.

Shortly after the verdict, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sought his resignation as Coal Minister. When the court ordered that he be taken into judicial custody, he pleaded uneasiness and was asked to be taken to AIIMS for check up.

The 62-year-old chief of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha was found guilty by Special Judge B R Kedia for conspiring to kidnap and murder of 40-year-old Jha, who was aware of the details about the bribe received by Soren to support the minority P V Narasimha Rao government in 1993.

“Shibu Soren is convicted under sections 120-b (criminal conspiracy) read with 364 (kidnapping) and 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code,” the judge said.

The quantum of sentence will be decided after arguments for which hearing has been fixed on November 30. The punishment under these sections ranges from life imprisonment to death penalty.

The court also convicted four others — Nand Kishore Mehta alias Nandu, Shailendra Bhattacharya, Pashupati Nath Mehta alias Posho and Ajay Kumar Mehta alias Dilip — on same counts. However, it acquitted two others — Sunil Khaware and Asish Thakur.

Earlier, in his tenure in this government, Soren had to resign after a Jharkhand court issued a non-bailable warrant against him in connection with Chirudih massacre case during Jharkhand movement agitation in 1975 in which 10 people were killed.

He is on bail in the case and was re-inducted into the Cabinet early this year

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