A Prosecutor’s Change of Heart in a Capital Case at the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is about to hear in oral arguments the appeal against the judgment of the High Court in the capital murder case of Gopal Lohia alias Gandhiram (name changed), a retired army staff colonel, who was convicted by a trial court in 2010 for the murder of his wife. The case is related to a case against him filed by a police officer against the accused, Gopal Lohia alias Gandhiram, on a charge of murder, following a complaint by Lohia’s wife. For the second time since the case began, Lohia’s appeal to the Supreme Court was filed by his younger wife Meenakshi Lohia alias Madhu, who was acquitted by the trial court earlier.
Meenakshi Lohia, the elder wife, has been a Congress supporter for the past 25 years and is a prominent member of the party. Before her marriage, she had been a BSP supporter. She was also associated with the Rashtriya Lok Dal. On August 17, 2002, Madhu Lohia got married to Gopal Lohia, a retired army staff colonel. The couple have two daughters. Madhu has a son too, a retired Army officer from Rajasthan named Subhash Lohia and a daughter called Amrita from her previous relationships. In 1999, she married a former RLD leader named Lalit Kumar Sahu. In 2002, Sahu’s wife committed suicide, allegedly by consuming poison.
In 2010, the trial court, after hearing evidence from almost all the witnesses who were examined by the prosecution and the defence, convicted Gopal Lohia (name changed) under Section 302 (Punishment for murder) and Section 34(A) (Punishment for attempt to murder) in the 2002 IGP cases of his wife and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Since the conviction, Gopal Lohia has been challenging the trial court’s ruling on several grounds. However, Lohia’s appeal before the Supreme Court was taken up in 2013 by Lohia himself. The argument is being heard by a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court.
Meenakshi Lohia’s petition