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SC agrees to hear plea against Patna HC order acquitting alleged Maoists in 2007 case

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New Delhi, Feb 13 (PTI) The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea challenging a Patna High Court order which had set aside the conviction and sentence of five alleged members of the CPI (Maoist) in a 2007 case of an attack on a house in which three people died in Bihar's Saran district.

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A bench of justices Aniruddha Bose and Sanjay Kumar issued notice to the Bihar government and the five accused, who were acquitted by the high court on September 15, last year in the case.

Senior advocate Amit Kumar and advocate Upendra Mishra, appearing for the petitioner Mukesh Kumar Sharma, who is also the complainant in the case, argued that the high court has erroneously set aside the judgement of conviction and sentence pronounced by the trial court in 2018.

Kumar said the high court has committed an error in acquitting the accused on the basis of the deposition of the investigating officer of the case and disbelieved the version of eyewitnesses.

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"The high court ought to have appreciated that the admitted case is that the attack by the mob consisting of extremists led to the death of three persons.

"The respondents (accused) were part of the mob and were duly identified by two prosecution witnesses," the appeal filed through advocate Yoothica Pallavi said.

It said the high court also erred in allowing the appeal on the ground that the death had been caused by firearm injuries and bomb blast but marks of bomb or bullet were not found on the wall or door of the building by the investigating officer.

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"The injuries which caused the death of three persons i.e. medical evidence are duly corroborated by the evidence of eyewitnesses. Minor discrepancy in the case of prosecution should not have become the basis for acquitting the accused person," the appeal said.

According to the prosecution, on August 19, 2007, a mob of 50-60 people attacked Sharma's house in Maker village of Saran district at around 7.30 pm,.

The FIR said the mob included men and women and they immediately took the family members of Sharma hostage with an intention to inflict injuries upon them.

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It said the armed mob fired and attacked with bombs while searching for Sharma, who had to hide in the bushes outside the house to save himself.

It added that after the mob left the house, Sharma found that his wife Pawan Devi, uncle Shambhoo Nath Sharma and bodyguard Mritunjay Singh had succumbed to bullet injuries.

He also found there was theft of a few articles including a gun, a suitcase with Rs 1.5 lakh cash and gold jewellery, among other things.

The FIR said while leaving the place of occurrence of the incident, the mob raised slogans pertaining to the Naxal organisation and also pasted a poster on the wall of Sharma's house. PTI MNL RT

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