Calling Mohd Shahabuddin a “dreaded criminal”, “a terror” and a “menace to the society”, the Bihar government moved the Supreme Court today seeking cancellation of bail to RJD leader in a murder case and apprehended disruption in law and order by his “sharp-shooters” if he remains out.
The state government filed a special leave petition (SLP) against the bail order by the Patna High Court and said that “irreparable injury” will be caused to the conduct of around 60 criminal cases pending against the gangster-turned-politician from Siwan.
WATCH VIDEO: 5 Things About Shahabuddin’s Criminal Record
“Grant of regular bail has allowed a dreaded criminal to come out from jail even though the trial in this case if yet to begin…there is a likelihood that other criminals and sharp shooters, who had been lying low, will raise their heads again,” stated the petition, filed through advocate Gopal Singh.
The lawyers for the state government are likely to mention this appeal for an urgent hearing on Monday when another petition seeking cancellation of Shahabuddin’s bail is scheduled to come up.
On Friday, Chief Justice of India T S Thakur accepted a plea by advocate Prashant Bhushan and listed for hearing an appeal filed by Chandrakeshwar Prasad against the bail order. Prasad’s three sons, including Rajiv Roshan, in whose murder case the latest bail order has been passed, were killed allegedly by Shahabuddin’s henchmen.
Meanwhile, the SLP by the RJD-JD(U) alliance government — under fire over his release — has underlined that even while lodged in jail Shahabuddin has been a terror and a menace to the society and his clout was such that the state government was compelled to hold the trial in the murder case inside the jail. “Such being the terror of respondent (Shahabuddin), the High Court was in gross error in releasing him on regular bail,” it added.
The petition pointed out that there were numerous unauthorised visits to the former RJD MP when he was in jail and all kinds of administrative actions had been taken to check such illegal entries.
After 11 years of incarceration, the four-time RJD MP Shahabuddin was released from the Bhagalpur jail last week. The Patna High Court had ordered for his release in the Rajiv Roshan murder case. Rajiv was the prime witness in the case of murder of his two brothers in Shahabuddin’s native village in Siwan on August 16, 2004. The High Court had cited the sluggish pace of the trial proceeding and said an accused could not be kept indefinitely behind bars.
But the Bihar government, challenging this order, has contended that the High Court had in February given nine months to conclude the trial after receipt of records but chose to order for his release in the seventh month. The appeal rued that the High Court could not have foreseen that trial would not get completed in the remaining two months.
It complained that the High Court failed to take note of Shahabuddin’s antecedents while accepting his argument that he was not the main assailant. “How could he be the main assailant when he was already in jail for the murder of the deceased’s two brothers. The High Court had to take note that he was now charged with murdering even the witness to the two murders and hence there was no ground for showing leniency,” according to the petition.
Reacting to the Bihar government’s move, BJP legislature party leader Sushil Kumar Modi said the state government did so to escape “legal embarrassment” as it had to reply to the Supreme Court notice on the plea of senior counsel Prashant Bhushan, who on Friday challenged Shahabuddin’s bail plea in the Supreme Court.
The Bihar government’s SLP followed soon after,
Sushil Kumar Modi said: “The government waited for Prashant Bhushan to file an appeal. The Nitish Kumar government has also done so under Opposition and media pressure”.
Modi claimed that Nitish Kumar had “wished to give a ticket to Shahabuddin’s wife Hina Shahab from Siwan in the 2009 Lok Sabha election but could not have his way because BJP opposed it”.
Siwan resident Chandrakeshwar Prasad alias Chanda Babu, who lost his three sons, said: “Prashant Bhushan has rekindled our hopes to see Shahabuddin behind bars again. Such a person should not be living in Siwan.”