Kanpur: The verdict in the Behmai massacre case, in which 20 people were killed allegedly by bandit Phoolan Devi’s gang in 1981, which was supposed to be delivered on January 6, has been postponed again with the next hearing listed for February 26.
The date for pronouncing the verdict on the role of the four surviving accused in the case that shook the country nearly four decades ago could not be fixed on Wednesday in the absence of the original case diary (CD), District Government Counsel (criminal) Raju Porwal said.
The court has listed the case on February 26 with strict instructions to the office staff and the police to trace the original CD and place it before the court, Porwal said.
It has also made it clear that it will hear the arguments over the missing case diary first before listing the case for pronouncing of judgement.
Porwal said the superintendent of police of Kanpur Dehat has made a written request to the special judge (UP dacoity-affected area), seeking more time to present the CD.
Considering the request, the judge has given time till February 26 to search for the missing CD and place it before the court, he said.
Earlier, special judge Sudhir Kumar had pulled up a court official after noticing the absence of the original CD while delivering the judgement in the case on January 18.
The court had expressed disappointment over the matter. It had postponed the case from January 24 to January 30 and then to February 12 as the CD could not be traced.
The court has also issued a notice to the session clerk concerned for the missing case diary, Porwal said.
The court was expected to pronounce its verdict on the role of the four surviving accused Posha, Bhikha, Vishwanath and Shyambabu. Posha is still in prison, while Bhikha, Vishwanath and Shyambabu are out on bail.