The Supreme Court on Friday sought the CBI’s response on its probe relating to news reports showing photographs and videos showing former Bihar minister Tej Pratap Yadav, son of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, along with the then absconding accused of killing scribe Rajdev Ranjan.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, meanwhile, was informed by Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the CBI, that the agency has already filed a charge sheet in the scribe murder case on August 22 before a special CBI court.
The top court enquired from the ASG as to whether the CBI has probed the issue relating to media reports featuring photographs and videos that showed Yadav, the then Health Minister, along with the then absconding accused, Mohd Kaif and Mohd Javed, who are presently in judicial custody.
It then directed the CBI to file a status report within four weeks about the investigation conducted into the allegations of harbouring and sheltering the then absconding accused in the murder case and the news reports that purportedly showed them in the company of Yadav and Mohd Shahabuddin, jailed RJD strongman and a co-accused in the sensational murder case.
The apex court had earlier issued notices to Shahabuddin, Yadav and the Bihar government on the plea of Ranjan’s wife seeking transfer of the case from Siwan in Bihar to Delhi. The Supreme Court had directed the CBI to proceed with the probe and ordered police protection to the scribe’s wife Asha Ranjan and their family.
Asha had moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer of probe and trial in the case to Delhi alleging that media reports had shown two absconding killers of her husband in the company of Shahabuddin and Yadav.
She had sought relief, including a direction to the CBI, to take up the investigation forthwith in view of the fact that the then proclaimed offenders, Mohd Kaif and Mohd Javed, were spotted with Shahabuddin and the then state Health Minister, where several cops were also present.
Kaif had surrendered in the Siwan district court on September 21. The scribe, working with a vernacular daily, was shot dead on the evening of May 13 in Siwan town by some sharp-shooters allegedly at the instance of then jailed RJD leader, the plea alleged.
Despite being named by the family of the journalist, the Siwan police did not name Shahabuddin in the FIR as a key conspirator, it alleged. It also alleged that the RJD leader was irked over some reports by the slain journalist on the issue of murder of three sons of Chandrakeshwar Prasad.
Shahabuddin was awarded life term in one of the cases.