New Delhi: The Supreme Court today set aside the Patna High Court order granting bail to controversial RJD leader Shahabuddin in a murder case.
The apex court ordered that either the gangster-turned- politician should surrender or Bihar Police should take him in custody “forthwith”.
A bench comprising Justice P C Ghose and Amitava Roy directed the state government and the lower court to ensure that the trial in the Rajiv Roshan murder case is concluded “expeditiously as contemplated under the law”.
Meanwhile, the court issued notice to Shahabuddin and Bihar government on another plea seeking cancellation of bail granted to him in a murder case of two brothers of Roshan.
Shahabuddin has been awarded life imprisonment in the twin murder case and the Patna High Court had granted him bail in this matter as well.
The apex court, which yesterday reserved its verdict on two appeals challenging the grant of bail to him by the Patna High Court, had rebuked Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government, which has RJD as its coalition partner, for its lax approach in opposing the bail granted to the RJD strongman in various cases at different judicial forums including the High Court.
Bihar government, which had drawn flak from the court since the beginning of the hearing on appeals, was questioned yesterday for not providing a copy of the charge sheet to Shahabuddin for 17 months in the Roshan murder case.
Roshan, the eyewitness to the gruesome killings of two of his younger siblings, was also killed few days before his proposed testimony in the murder case of his brothers.
The bench had referred to the trial court records and said it cannot simply go by “inferences” drawn from various happenings in lower courts, as the order sheets revealed that police records were not provided to the accused.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Siwan-based Chandrakeshwar Prasad who lost his three sons in two separate crimes, had vehemently opposed Shahabuddin’s contention that he was not provided the case records including charge sheet for 17 months after it was filed in the trial court.
Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Shahabuddin, had said there was concerted efforts to delay the trial and for that reason, the chargesheet was not provided to him.
Moreover, the prosecution did not have evidence to prove Shahabuddin’s involvement in the conspiracy to murder, he had said.
Senior advocate Dinesh Dwivedi, representing Bihar government, had said every factor should be taken into account and court should not “unleash this man to the society” as “liberty is not absolute” and only one eyewitness remained.
Shahabuddin, who was granted bail by the Patna High Court on September 7, was released from Bhagalpur Jail on September 10. He was in jail for 11 years in connection with dozens of cases against him.
On September 19, the apex court had sought a response from Shahabuddin on a separate plea filed by Siwan resident Chandrakeshwar Prasad, challenging the bail granted to him by Patna High Court, in the murder case of his third son.
The apex court is also hearing a separate plea filed by the widow of journalist Rajdev Ranjan, who was murdered in Siwan allegedly at the instance of Shahabuddin, seeking transfer of the case to Delhi.
Kalawati Devi, wife of Chandrakeshwar Prasad and the mother of three youths who were brutally killed by henchmen of the controversial politician, had also moved the Supreme Court seeking cancellation of bail granted to him in the case in which he has already been sentenced to life.