The court of additional district judge (ADJ)-7 Nikesh Kumar Sinha awarded life imprisonment to Ramadhir Singh under section 302 IPC (punishment for murder) and three years additional jail term under section 27 of Arms Act (punishment for using arms).

Ramadhir Singh was pronounced guilty on April 9 and the court announced the punishment in his absence on Saturday.

Trade union leader Binod Singh was shot dead on way to Dhanbad from Katras township on July 15, 1998.

The victim's elder brother Doon Bahadur Singh had lodged an FIR holding Ramadhir Singh, his elder brother and former Jharkhand Minister Bachha Singh, nephew Rajiv Ranjan Singh, Sherbahadur Singh and Anil Yadav accused for murder.

The court acquitted Bachha Singh from charges on April 9 last but held the four other accused guilty.

Three of the four accused -- Rajiv Ranjan Singh, Anil Yadav and Sher Bahadur Singh were declared absconders.

Ramadhir Singh had not appeared in the court on April 9. His advocated urged the court to hold up the decision as his client was admitted to AIMS, Delhi.

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