New Delhi: CPI(M) on Saturday demanded an expeditious appeal by the CBI against the Patna High Court order acquitting former RJD MP Pappu Yadav in the murder case of party leader Ajit Sarkar in 1998.
Terming the acquittal of Yadav and others as "travesty of justice", the party Politburo said the lower court had found "incontrovertible evidence of his guilt and he was serving a life sentence. On several occasions the Supreme Court had refused him bail.
"In the name of `giving the accused the benefit of doubt`, the High Court has acquitted him and ordered his release."
Sarkar, a former CPI(M) legislator, was shot dead by unidentified persons in Bihar`s Purnia district on June 14, 1998.
The CPI(M) demanded that the CBI "take this matter seriously" and expeditiously appeal against this verdict in the Supreme Court. "Justice should not be denied in this case", the party said.
Soon after the Patna High Court order yesterday, CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram Yechury had said, "It is a regrettable decision. CBI must swiftly and effectively move the Supreme Court and appeal against it."
A division bench comprising justices V N Singh and K K Lal acquitted Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav and two others - Rajan Tiwari and Anil Kumar Yadav - of all charges in connection with Sarkar`s killing for want of evidence.
The court also directed the authorities to release Yadav from jail forthwith if he was not wanted in any other case.