Early this week,the Jharkhand High Court granted bail to former Excise Minister Gopal Krishna Patar, also known as Raja Peter. Peter, who is accused in the murder case of the then MLA of Tamar and former Jharkhand minister, Ramesh Singh Munda, had come under fire of the BJP.
This did not bother Peter. Peter was a rock star politician. He had emerged as the giant killer of Jharkhand politics in 2009 when he had defeated the then Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren in the Tamar by-election by a margin of almost 9,000 votes.
Peter had defeated Shibu Soren, father of the CM Hemant Soren at a time when the then beleaguered UPA patriarch and JMM chief desperately needed this victory to save his chief minister's post. However,Soren failed and Peter won.
Peter was caught in the murder case and spent over seven years in jail since May 27,2017. But just three days after Peter came out of jail on bail,he was in touch with BJP leaders and expressed his desire to join the saffron party.
Peter was back in politics as the High Court’s decision comes after a thorough hearing by the division bench comprising Justice S Chandrashekhar and Justice Ratnakar Bhengra.
The incident of crime in question had occurred at SS High School ground in Bundu, where a tribal leader Ramesh Singh Munda was delivering a speech and faced a Naxalite attack. Tragically, four individuals, including Ramesh Singh Munda, lost their lives in the assault.
During the hearing, advocate Abhishek Kumar, representing Raja Peter, informed the bench that his client had spent six and a half years in jail, emphasizing the significant number of witnesses involved in the case.
Considering these factors, the division bench granted bail to Raja Peter, imposing certain conditions.
The court’s decision took into account the duration of Raja Peter’s custody and the complexity of the trial, acknowledging the need for a fair legal process.
Against this backdrop and forthcoming general election 2024, Peter is expected to join the BJP in the new year 2024.