Murder convict sends proxy for undergoing lifeterm in Uttarakhand jail

Dehra Dun : Having taken cognizance of the fact that a man was serving life term in the Dehra Dun jail here as a proxy for someone else who had committed the murder, the National Human Rights Commission has asked the chief secretary, Uttarakhand, to submit a factual report within two weeks.

It has also directed its director general (investigation) to send a team from Delhi to the state headquarters for an on-the-spot enquiry to come out with the real picture, and if true, how could the guilty person send a proxy to serve his term in jail.

Besides, how has the proxy served about 14 years and the real guilty remained scot free.

According to information collected a murder was committed in 1994 and the two accused, Faisal and Ram Kumar, were sentenced life terms in prison sometime in 1997.

Raj Kumar had reportedly surrendered in the court of the ADJ (second), Nainital and were lodged in the Hardwar jail.

However, in May last year the two serving life sentences were transferred to Dehra Dun jail, where they are currently lodged.

It was only on April 30 this year, that Faisal spilled the beans that Raj Kumar, rather than serving the sentence himself had managed to convince one Kiran, to undergo his sentence for an undisclosed amount and also that Raj Kumar would keep knocking the doors of judiciary for their freedom.

But rather than trying to seek the freedom of the two by appealing in a higher court, Raj Kumar conveniently went to Allahabad, where he is said to have taken up work with a lawyer as a ‘munshi’.

On being told by Faisal that rather than Raj Kumar, it was Kiran who was undergoing the sentence, the jail authorities here tried to do their own investigations in the matter, but without much success.

Jail authorities here said that as far as they were concerned in their records it was Raj Kumar son of Ilam, resident of Deoband who was undergoing the sentence, but Faisal insists that the person lodged in the jail is Kiran so of Zile Singh.

Perhaps investigations by the chief secretary and the director general will shed light as to how an accused sentenced to a life term in a murder case, could conveniently remain scot free and send some one not involved in any crime to proxy for him and undergo the jail sentence. More importantly, is this an isolated case, or the tip of an iceberg.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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