Aug. 22: Twenty-one years after he shot dead ace badminton player Syed Modi in Lucknow, Bhagwati Singh was awarded life imprisonment by a local court here on Saturday.
The court also imposed a penalty of Rs 50,000 on the convict, who had been held guilty by additional sessions judge Shashank Shekhar on Friday. Another accused, Jitendra Singh, has been acquitted due to lack of evidence.
It may be recalled that Syed Modi was shot dead on July 28, 1988 near the K.D. Singh Babu Stadium while he was coming out after practice by assailants who came in a Maruti car.
The state government had transferred the investigation to the CBI keeping in view the sensitivity of the case.
The CBI filed a chargesheet against former minister (and now Congress MP) Sanjay Singh, Ameeta Modi, Akhilesh Singh, Bhagwati Singh, Jitendra Singh, Amar Bahadur Singh and Balai Singh. The charges against Dr Sanjay Singh and Ameeta were dropped on September 17, 1990, while the high court acquitted Akhilesh Singh on August 29, 1996. The other accused, Balai Singh, died, while Amar Bahadur Singh was later found murdered.
The wheels of justice grind slowly but surely.
That is what the saying goes.
But is this justice?
It has taken all of 21 years to convict a criminal for murder for life.
A life sentence is just 14 years.
The convict has already passed away 21 years outside the jail for he must have got bail within a few months if not few weeks.
Since it is the lower court which has given its verdict, he will again file an appeal in the High Court. While this is pending, he will again roam about freely to threaten witnesses and commit more murders.
This normally happens when MPs and MLAs are involved in murders.
If I remember the case right, Sanjay Singh ,former minister in UP and now Congress MP, was having an affair with Ameeta Modi, wife of Syed Modi, ace badninton player.
It was alleged that Sanjay Singh was involved in the murder.
However, as is the case with politicians, the case against Sanjay Singh and Ameeta Modi were dropped for whatever reasons.
Some scapegoat has to be found so Bhagwati Singh was made one.
Although Sanjay Singh and gang have been freed, the case history does leave a bad taste in the mouth on justice miscarried.
The rich and the powerful use all their resources to play with justice and we can truly say that she is truly blind, not just blind-folded.