Senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and four-time MP Prabhunath Singh was on Tuesday sentenced to life imprisonment by a Hazaribagh court, which found him guilty in the 1995 murder of the then MLA Ashoke Singh.
The court had convicted Prabhunath, his brother Dinanath Singh and ex-village chief Ritesh Singh last week, but had reserved its order on the quantum of punishment. It was pronounced by Additional district judge Surendra Sharma today.
The RJD leader, along with his brother and ex-village chief were arrested soon after the court’s verdict and lodged in the Hazaribagh Central Jail.
The case dates back to 1995 when Ashoke Singh, the erstwhile Janata Dal MLA of Masrakh in Bihar’s Chhapra district, was killed at his residence in an attack involving use of bombs and indiscriminate firing by the convicts.
The case had been registered on the basis of the statement of the slain MLA's widow, Chandni Devi.
Relatives of Ashok Singh blamed Prabhunath Singh and his henchmen for the murder. Initially, the case was heard in Patna but the Supreme Court transferred the case to Hazaribagh, thus accepting the plea of relatives of the slain MLA who feared Prabhunath Singh could influence court proceedings.
Prabhunath is believed to be a close confidant of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav. He was elected on a JD(U) ticket but switched sides to the RJD later on.