Supreme Court: In the matter relating to Journalist Rajdev Ranjan’s murder, where counsel appearing for the petitioners had argued that Md. Shahabuddin, who was spotted with one of the accused persons who was absconding after the crime, should be transferred from Siwan Jail to Tihar Jail as he has been successfully instrumental in committing the crime while in jail or while he is out from jail even for a minimum period of time, the Bench of Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy, JJ issued notice to Md. Shahabuddin in this regard and listed the matter to be taken up on 28.11.2016.

It was brought into the notice of the Court that Md. Shahabuddin is facing 45 criminal cases which are pending for trial and it is the admitted position that 44 trials are pending in the State of Bihar and one in the State of Jharkhand and if he is allowed to be a catalyst or a motivator in the crimes by operating from jail, the justice for which the victims in 45 cases are crying would face incurable hazard and jeopardy. It was argued that when a person goes beyond the bounds of law and becomes a history-sheeter, the Court is required to pass appropriate orders, regard being had to the societal necessity. It was further added by Dushyant Dave, appearing for the petioners, that the trial can be held through video-conferencing so that the rights of an under trial are not affected.

The transfer was sought as one Chandrakeshwar Prasad had preferred the writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India that his two sons were abducted and murdered for which Md. Shahabuddin was convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for life and that the appeal against the said conviction and sentence is pending before the High Court. He also submitted that his third son was also done to death two days prior to giving evidence in court in respect of trial of his other two brothers. The counsel appearing for the petitioners submitted that if such a history-sheeter is allowed to remain in the jail of Siwan Jail, the distress and the agony of the family of the petitioners would know no bound. [Asha Ranjan v. State of Bihar, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 1167, decided on 24.10.2016]

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