SC permits Lalit Mishra’s grandson to assist in hearing of assassination convicts’ appeals


The Supreme Court has granted permission to Vaibhav Mishra, the grandson of former Railways Minister Lalit Narayan Mishra, who was killed in a blast at Bihar’s Samastipur Railway Station in 1975, to assist the Delhi High Court in the final hearing of appeals by the convicts in the murder case.

Mishra, who is also a lawyer, moved the apex court, challenging the Delhi High Court’s 7 February order which dismissed his plea for a direction to the CBI to conduct a “fair investigation” and “reinvestigation.” He alleged that the investigation had been mishandled and sought a reinvestigation, claiming that the actual culprits had been discharged, resulting in a miscarriage of justice.

Senior Congress leader and former Cabinet Minister Lalit Mishra suffered fatal injuries in grenade blasts at Samastipur on 2 January 1975, where he had gone for the inauguration of a Broad Gauge Line. He was later transferred for treatment to Danapur but succumbed to his injuries on 3 January 1975. Along with Mishra, then MLC Surya Narayan Jha and railway clerk Ram Kishore Prasad Singh also died in the blasts.

A bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and Dipankar Datta refused to entertain the plea for a re-investigation but allowed Vaibhav Mishra to assist the Delhi High Court during the final hearing of the criminal appeals filed by the convicts.

The court noted that the nature of the relief sought, the long time—48 years—that had passed since the incident and the fact that criminal appeals arising from the trial were pending before a division bench of the High Court made it inappropriate to grant relief in the present petition.

Vaibhav Mishra had filed two petitions in the high court regarding the case, with the first one filed in 2021, seeking direction for the CBI to consider his representation for re-investigation. The CBI responded to his representation, stating that the matter was sub judice before the high court, making it legally impermissible to conduct a reinvestigation.

Mishra filed a separate petition in 2023 seeking further or re-investigation in the case, which was disposed of on 7 February. He alleged that the probe had been mishandled and that the arrested individuals were different from those later identified as the accused.

Three “Ananda Margis” and an advocate were sentenced to life imprisonment in December 2014 by a trial court for the killing of the former railway minister.