Journalist's murder case: SC directs Shahabuddin be shifted to Tihar jail

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Bihar government to shift former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Mohammad Shahabuddin from Siwan to Delhi's Tihar jail within a week.

Responding to the petitions, the Bihar government had earlier told the apex court that it is not "averse" to shifting Shahabuddin from Siwan prison to Tihar Jail.

Chandrakeshwar Prasad, whose three sons were allegedly murdered by Shahabuddin, and Asha Ranjan, whose journalist husband Rajdev Ranjan was allegedly murdered by associates of Shahabuddin, had moved the court.

Ranjan, 42, the bureau chief of The Hindustan, was shot dead in July previous year at Phal Mandi near the Siwan Railway Station, barely half-a-kilometre from the police station.

The Supreme Court said the trial will take place through video-conferencing and the cases in which trial was put on hold by the high court should be decided in four months.

"A fair trial is not what the accused wants in the name of fair trial". For a free and fair trial, Asha sought his transfer in the case relating to her husband's murder past year.

Ranjan worked for Hindustan - a sister concern of Hindustan Times and one of Bihar's largest circulating newspapers.

He also said that at last Siwan will be "free from Shahabuddin's terror". Presently, Shahabuddin is lodged in Siwan jail serving life imprisonment in connection with killing of Prasad's two sons. "We have been demanding for long to shift him from Siwan jail to Tihar jail in Delhi for free trial to ensure justice to us".

"Now, we will live here without any fear and hope to get justice", Prasad, who along with his wife Kalavati Devi has been living at their house in Siwan town despite threats, told IANS over telephone.

"We direct the state of Bihar to transfer Mohammad Shahabuddin from district jail Siwan to Tihar jail Delhi", the bench said.

Earlier in October past year, the apex court had cancelled the bail granted to the RJD leader by Patna High Court on September 7 and had directed the Bihar government to take him into custody immediately underlining his criminal antecedents and "societal interest".

  • Leroy Wright