New Delhi, Dec 1: The Supreme Court on Thursday deferred the hearing of murder accused and former Siwan Member of Parliament Mohammad Shahabuddin’s prison transfer case till December 6.The notorious RJD leader is currently lodged in his home district Siwan jail and a plea to shift him to Delhi’s Tihal Central jail was filed in Supreme Court.
In the plea, Chandrakeshwar Prasad, whose three sons Asha Ranjan, whose journalist husband were allegedly killed by Shahabuddin stated that for the trial to be free and fair, it was important that the accused is away from Bihar. The victims’ also reportedly claimed that in Bihar, they and the witnesses were in constant danger of being harmed by Shahabuddin’s contacts.
Following the death of the journalist, Bihar Government recommended the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe the case. Apparently, the CBI has nodded to the petition appealing the prison transference. A division bench headed by Justice Dipak Mishra and Justice Amitava Roy were to take up the matter on Thursday. Finally, the hearing was deferred till December 6.
Reportedly, Shahabuddin pleaded with the Supreme Court that shifting him from Bihar to Tihar jail would be illegal. Senior counsel to Shahabuddin, Shekhar Naphade contended that “prisons and inter-state movement of prisoners were a state subject and any deviation requires the consent of both the states” in question. He further added that although Bihar government did not oppose the plea for shifting Shahabuddin to Tihar Central Jail, the other state, Delhi was not even a party to the litigation.
Shahabuddin in his plea said, “The court cannot suspend my fundamental rights without following established procedure for shifting me to Delhi. What is illegal cannot be pleaded in petitions.
Meanwhile, the victims believe that for fair trial, with witnesses feeling safe against the influential gangster-politician, he must be shifted to Tihar Jail. Recently, the Patna High Court released Shahabuddin on bail, which brought a lot of criticism.
The SC’s deferring of the hearing till December 6 is bound make the victims uneasy but it seems they do not have a choice after all and wait.