The Patna High Court on Wednesday dismissed the petition of Mohammad Shahabuddin, strongman from Siwan and former MP from RJD, challenging his conviction and sentence by a special court in Siwan in the double murder case of 2004. Shahabuddin and three others were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in the case in the year 2015.
Chandrashekhar Prasad also known as Chanda Babu, father of the two victims, Satish Raj and Girish Raj, welcomed the decision, while saying that this was a case where the convicts should be awarded a death sentence. Counsel for Shahabuddin, Zeyaul Hoda, could not be contacted despite repeated efforts. However, he told mediapersons that the MP would seek reprieve from the Supreme Court.
A Division Bench of Justices K K Mandal and Sanjay Kumar had reserved the judgement in June. Today, they pronounced the judgement dismissing the petition. A copy of the order was, however, not yet available.
Talking to The Indian Express over phone, Chanda Babu said, “I was not aware that the case was listed today. I came to know when mediapersons began calling me and told me about it. There is nothing much left in my life. My two sons were murdered and the third was killed because he was adamant on giving his statement as a witness. But I feel that it would have saved the government lot of money if the courts gave him death sentence. So much money is spent in just keeping this one man in jail.”
The double murder occurred on August 16, 2004, under the Moffusil police station of Siwan district in which Satish and his brother Girish were killed by Shahabuddin and his associates by being drenched in acid. The bodies of the two victims were never recovered. The accused targeted the victims as the former eyed their property.
The victims’ brother, Rajiv Roshan, who was the sole witness and had managed to escape from the accused, was threatened with dire consequences if he stood witness in the court. However, when Roshan insisted that he would not back down, he too was shot dead on June 16, 2014, three days before he was to appear in court.
Apart from Shahabuddin, his associates, Raj Kumar Sah, Sheikh Alam and Munna Mian, were convicted by a special court in Siwan on December 11, 2015. The accused were sentenced to life imprisonment. The same was challenged in Patna High Court in January 2016. Shahabuddin has been facing around 40 criminal cases and is lodged in Tihar Central Jail in New Delhi.