In a unique case of fraud and identity theft going back to 1977, a court in Bihar has finally found the accused guilty and sentenced him to three years imprisonment.
The brief details of the case are that Kanhaiya Singh, the only son of landlord Kameshwar Singh of Murgawan village under the Ben police station, went missing from Chandi High School in 1977 during his matriculation examination. Kanhaiya was the only heir of Kameshwar Singh’s property worth crores. A few months after his disappearance, neighbours identified a Bharthari (saint) who had come to the village as Kanhaiya and took him to Kameshwar Singh’s place. But Kameshwar Singh’s daughter Ramsakhi Devi had refused to accept him as Kanhaiya.
After this, in 1981, a case was lodged against Kanhaiya Singh under Silav police station accusing him of visiting the village with an intention to grab the property. During the course of the investigation, Kanhaiya Singh’s original identity was revealed. Police came to know that his actual name was Dayanand Gosain, a resident of Lakhai village of Laxmipur police station area of Munger district. It was not known what had happened to the real Kanhaiya Singh.
During the trial, six sisters of Kanhaiya Singh were not taking much interest in the matter, but one sister Ramsakhi Devi kept refusing to accept the accused as her missing brother. Assistant Prosecution Officer Rajesh Pathak said that the matter “had also gone to the Supreme Court but was sent to the lower court for hearing”. There have been many turning points in this matter so far.
On being recognized for the first time as Kanhaiya, Ramsakhi refused to accept the accused after which an FIR was lodged in the matter under the Silav police station for grabbing the property. Now after four decades, the court convicted Dayanand Gosain under section 420, 419 and 120 of the Indian Penal Code, and sentenced him to three years’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000.