AGARTALA, Nov 4: The Supreme Court has reduced the quantum of punishment for Congress’s Tripura unit president Birajit Sinha from three months to one month over his conviction in 2013 for violation of an administrative order, an official said here on Wednesday.
Sinha, 65, a former Tripura minister, earlier filed a petition before the apex court against the Tripura High Court and lower court judgments, which had given him three-month jail term for violation of an administrative order in carrying extra bullets of his licensed pistol.
“After hearing Sinha’s appeal, a division bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice N.V. Rama had asked him on October 16 to surrender before the lower court within 15 days and produce a custody certificate during the next hearing in the Supreme Court,” a Tripura law department official said.
He said that Sinha, accordingly, surrendered before the district and session judge court of Unokoti district on Saturday and the court sent him to jail custody.
“The Supreme Court on Tuesday reduced the jail term from three months to one month,” the official added.
Senior lawyer and former exterl affairs minister Salman Khurshid appeared for Sinha in the Supreme Court.
Earlier on September 7, the Tripura High Court division bench upheld the three-month jail term given to the Congress leader by the Unokoti district and session judge court in October 2013 for violation of the administrative order. The legal battle in the court started on July 20, 2004 when Sinha, accompanied by his persol security officer, had gone to Babur Bazar area in Kailasahar after receiving reports of alleged booth-capturing by the Communist Party of India-Marxist cadres during panchayat elections.
When he reached there, Sinha was reportedly engaged in a confrontation with CPI-M members, leading to firing that left a CPI-M leader dead.
Sinha’s advocate Pijush Biswas said the Congress leader had gone to the place carrying his licensed pistol which had 12 bullets, and had five extra bullets. “His gun was licensed and he was authorised to carry 12 bullets, so he was charged with carrying five extra bullets in violation of the administrative order for which he was convicted in the district and session court which rejected all other charges,” he added. (IANS)