Tuesday, 25 April, 2017

Shift Shahabuddin to Tihar from Siwan jail: Supreme Court to Bihar government

According to the direction of the apex court the controversial Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Shahabuddin is to be shifted to Tihar Jail in Delhi and further trial in the cases registered against him are to be conducted through video conferencing. (PT Shift Shahabuddin from Bihar To Tihar Jail For Fair Trial: Supreme Court
Garry Little | 16 February, 2017, 00:42

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered shifting of RJD leader Mohammad Shahabuddin to Delhi's Tihar prison from a Bihar jail in a week, in order to "safeguard the principle of fair trial". The petitions were filed by Asha Ranjan, the widow of a scribe who was allegedly killed by associates of Shahabuddin, and Chandra-keshwar Prasad, a father whose three sons were murdered at Shahabuddin's behest.

In a same plea of transferring Mohammad Shahbuddin to Tihar jail, was filed by Chandrakeshwar Prasad whose two sons were murdered by Shahabuddin in year 2004, and court clubbed this plea with Asha Ranjan's plea.

Opposing the plea, Shahabuddin's lawyer argued that the transfer was unwarranted and unjustified under the Transfer of Prisoners Act, 1950.

Former RJD MP Shahabuddin to be shifted to Tihar jail from Siwan jail on Supreme Court's order. "The transfer shall take place within a week hence", a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy said.

According to Bihar government's data, there were 75 cases against Shahabuddin. Around 45-odd criminal cases are pending against the four-time MP. He had been in prison since November 2005 in connection with the murder of two brothers from his village and after almost 11 years in jail, the former MP from Siwan was released on bail on September 10. Later, the Supreme Court, on the state government's appeal, had cancelled the bail granted to him by the Patna high court.

The court did the balancing act between the individual right of an accused to fair trial with the right of the society and preservation of the justice delivery system.

It said that when there is threat to life, liberty and when fear pervades, it corrodes the basic marrow of holding the trial at Siwan. He is now facing trial in the murder case of Prasad's third son who was a witness to his brothers' deaths.

It was at the top court's intervention that Mr Shahabuddin - who was released after spending 11 years behind bars in September - was quickly sent back to jail within weeks.

"After God, we have our hopes pinned on the apex court for justice", they said.

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