Finally, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea on Monday to shift former RJDMP Mohammad Shahabuddin who is accused multiple criminal activities and facing trials in 45 criminal cases, from Bihar to the Capital’s Tihar jail. The court said that ensuring free and fair trial against him while defending witnesses is a challenge for the judiciary.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitav Roy said that matter will be reconsidered again on Tuesday whether to shift Shahabuddin out of Siwan jail and whether a trial in all cases against him, should be held in Delhi.
Victims’ family are demanding to SC not to shift former RJDMP Mohammad Shahabuddin in Bihar
.”This is a kind of situation that tests the justice delivery system in the country and also tests witness protection scheme,” the bench said, asking senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Shahabuddin, to come prepared to argue the case.
The plea was filed by victims’ families alleging that there were no chances of a free and fair trial against him if he remained in Bihar jail. They alleged that witnesses would not be able to testify against the ‘Bahubali’ former RJDMP Mohammad Shahabuddin with his gangster intimidating them.
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave and Lawyer Rohit Singh,appearing for Chandrakeshwar Prasad who three sons were allegedly killed by Shahabuddin, told the bench that the fear of the strongman is still existing in Siwan even after he was sent to jail and the court must interfere to assure fair fear fee trial.
Terror of former MP is still existing in Siwan
If he continues to influence witnesses from jail, then it would be impossible to give justice to victims’ families. He is accused of killing one of the sons of Prasad, who was a sole eyewitness of his two brothers, was to testify against him. And, it shows that the terror of former RJDMP Mohammad Shahabuddin who can commit the crime even from inside the jail, Dave argued.
Countering Dave’s plea, Naphade told the bench that his client had been a victim due to political conspiracy and media trial. He further said the former MP cannot be shifted out of Bihar just because he had already been declared by the media, claimed that the allegations of the petitioners are totally wrong and baseless.
CBI wants Shahabuddin in Tihar Jail
Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha, who is appearing for CBI, favored Dave’s submissions and urged the bench that former RJDMP Mohammad Shahabuddin should be transferred to Tihar Jail and all the trials pending against strongman should also be held in Delhi.
On the other hand, wife of a journalist, who was murdered allegedly on the indication of Shahabuddin, also told the court that she and her two children are living under the shadow of death and expressed fear of being attacked for continuing the case against him.
Shahabuddin had been two-time MLA and four-time Member of Parliament from Siwan. He had been in jail since November 2005 after he was arrested from MP’s residence in New Delhi by a joint team of Bihar and Delhi Police in connection with several criminal cases.
He stepped out of jail on September 7 this year after being granted bail in all cases but he was again sent to the jail after the Supreme Court disposed off his bail. Former RJDMP Mohammad Shahabuddin has been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in tow cases by trial courts.