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UP: After 20 Years A Man Is Released From Jail For A Crime He Did Not Commit

Recently, Allahabad High Court ordered to release a man, who spent 20 years in prison after it was found that he did not commit the crime. He had been accused of rape and sentenced to life imprisonment by the trial court.

An Uttar Pradesh court had sentenced Vishnu Tiwari to life imprisonment in a rape case in 2000, the Times of India reported.

Tiwari was 23 at the time of his conviction.

“Vishnu will be released very soon. We are waiting for the formal release order. It is unfortunate he had to be in jail for two decades for a crime he never committed,” VK Singh, the senior superintendent of the Agra Central Jail was quoted as saying.

What Exactly Happened? Let’s Go Back In 2000s

Vishnu lived along with his father and two brothers in a village in Lalitpur district of Uttar Pradesh. He was a school dropout and used to take up odd jobs to help his family, the TOI report said.

In September 2000, a woman from Silawan village in UP, accused Vishnu of assaulting her, following which, he was booked for rape, criminal intimidation and sexual exploitation of an SC woman under the IPC and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Soon after, a trial court found him guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Unable to afford a better lawyer, Tiwari could not put up a strong legal defense to prove his innocence.

In 2003, Vishnu was moved to the Agra Central Jail. “He was known as a mild-mannered person, a stickler for cleanliness and a gifted cook,” the report said.

“Besides cooking for inmates, he would also oversee cleanup inside the jail. His conduct was always good,” a jail official was quoted as saying.

He used to eagerly wait for his father’s visits during his term in jail. It was around six years ago, that his father stopped visiting him. Later, he came to know that his father had died.

His brother had also passed away in that period. He could not attend his father or his brother’s funeral.

Challenging The Verdict

In 2005, Vishu decided to challenge the verdict against him in the high court. As he was already in the line for a mercy plea, the prison authorities approached the State Legal Services Authority.

In 2020, the authorities appealed in the Allahabad High Court. On January 28, a division bench of Justices Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Gautam Chaudhary declared Vishnu not guilty, the TOI report said.

Finally, Not Guilty

Pronouncing its verdict in the case, the high court observed that the FIR had been lodged three days late. It noted that there were no injuries on the private parts of the woman “who is said to have been thrashed”.

There “was a motive on the part of complainant that there was a land dispute between the parties” and that it was her husband and father-in-law who had lodged the complaint and not her, the court said.

Singh said, “We expect to get his release order in a few days. Once he gets out, he plans on opening a dhaba and making a fresh start.”

Also also: Mamata Banerjee and Suvendu Adhikari’s Election War

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