SC notice to Shahabuddin on plea to shift him to Tihar

New Delhi, Oct 24 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to RJD strongman Mohammad Shahabuddin on a plea by two petitioners, seeking his transfer from Siwan jail to Tihar Jail in Delhi.

The two petitioners — Chandrakeshwar Prasad and Asha Ranjan — also want his trial to be held via video-conferencing.

Chandrakeshwar Prasad’s two sons were abducted and murdered, for which Shahabuddin was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, and for the murder of his third son Rajiv Roshan, the former RJD MLA from Siwan is facing trial.

Asha Ranjan is the widow of a journalist, who too was allegedly killed by henchmen of Shahabuddin. This case is being investigated by the CBI and the investigating agency on Monday submitted the status report on its investigations.

Issuing the notice to Shahabuddin, the bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Amitava Roy recorded the submission by senior counsel Dushyant Dave, telling the bench that Chandrakeshwar Prasad’s third son Rajiv Roshan was killed two days before he was to give evidence against Shahabuddin in the case of murder of his brothers.

Rajiv Roshan was the sole eyewitness to the murder of his two brothers.

The bench was told that if Shahabuddin is allowed “to be a catalyst or a motivator in the crimes by operating from jail, the justice for which victims in 45 cases are crying, would face incurable hazard and jeopardy”.

Of the 45 cases pending against Shahabuddin, 44 are in Bihar and one in Jharkhand.

Seeking shifting of Shahabuddin from Siwan Jail to Tihar Jail, the bench was told that “when a person goes beyond the bounds of law and becomes a history-sheeter, the court is required to pass appropriate orders” in the interest of the society.

Dave referred to the case of Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, who on the direction of the top court, was moved from a Bihar jail to Tihar Jail and his trial was held through video-conferencing.

The Centre and the Bihar government have also been sent the notice regarding the plea for his shifting to Tihar Jail.

The Supreme Court had on September 30 ordered former RJD MLA Shahabuddin back in jail in the Rajiv Roshan murder case, as it set aside the Patna High Court order granting him bail.

While setting aside the high court order, the apex court had pointed to the need for balancing consideration for individual liberty with societal interests.