New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear on Monday a plea seeking cancellation of bail granted to convicted RJD leader Mohammad Shahabuddin by Patna High Court in a case pertaining to the killing of a journalist in Siwan town of Bihar.
A few hours after the development, Bihar government too moved the top court with its appeal against the high court order, saying the state was not properly heard and the history-sheeter granted relief keeping all previous concerns of the court about security and safety of witnesses at bay.
A bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice AM Khanwilkar accepted the first plea for urgent hearing on September 19 after it was mentioned by advocate Prashant Bhushan, on behalf of Chandrakeshwar Prasad alias Chanda Babu of Siwan, whose three sons were murdered allegedly at the behest of the controversial politician.
Mr Prasad, in his petition, said that Shahabuddin, a four-time lawmaker from Siwan, has been apparently booked in at least 58 criminal cases, of which in at least 8, he has been convicted and awarded life sentence in two of them and despite that he has been allowed to walk free out of jail.
Separately, Bihar government standing counsel Gopal Singh elaborated the grounds and said the high court had failed to follow its own order of February asking the trial court to preferably complete the trial of the Rajiv Roshan murder case within nine months.
The state government also said the high court ignored the crucial aspect brought by it earlier that key witnesses did not turn up to depose in these cases due to fear and the clout wielded by the dreaded gangster, who before pronouncement of judgement in the murder case of Mr Prasad’s two sons, allegedly conspired from the jail to eliminate his third son, Rajiv Roshan, the prime witness in the case.
The state government contended that the high court overlooked the top court judgement which had held as correct its decision to conduct the trial of cases against Shahabuddin from jail itself considering the threat to witnesses, the counsel said.
Mr Singh said the high court had neither properly heard the state, nor did it seek any report from it regarding the criminal trials pending against Shahabuddin before granting him relief.