Transfer Shahabuddin to Tihar Jail from Bihar prison, orders Supreme Court

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Transfer Shahabuddin to Tihar Jail from Bihar prison, orders Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered shifting of RJD leader Mohammad Shahabuddin to Delhi's Tihar prison from a Bihar jail in a week, in order to "safeguard the principle of fair trial".

Ordering to conduct the trial through video conferencing, a SC bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said no special treatment is to be given to the the gangster-turned politician.

Shahabuddin is accused of getting journalist Rajdeo Ranjan murdered in May a year ago. Senior Advocate Shekhar Naphade has been defending Shahabuddin.

Both Prasad and his wife said they had faith in the justice of the Supreme Court.

According to the direction of the apex court, the controversial Rashtriya Janata Dal (RLD) leader Shahabuddin is to be shifted to Tihar Jail in Delhi and further trial in the cases registered against him are to be conducted through video conferencing.

Read the judgment below.

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The American Civil Liberties Union was also against the rule, also saying it stigmatized the mentally ill. The government was supposed to start enforcing the rule this December .

"This is not a normal and usual case".

Ms. Asha Ranjan, wife of the slain journalist and a school teacher told The Hindu over phone: "It is a historical court order for me, which makes me hopeful justice will be done. This verdict is in the best interest of free and fair trial". "The grievance of the victims, who have enormously and apparently suffered, deserves to be dealt with as per the law of the land and should not remain a mirage and a distant dream", said the bench.

The apex court however agreed with the submission of the RJD leader that the court, in exercise of its special power under Article 142 (enforcement of decrees and orders of the SC) of the Constitution, can not curtail the fundamental rights of citizens. He has been acquitted in 20 cases while 45 trials are still on. "It is the obligation and duty of this Court to ensure free and fair trial", it said. Of the 45 cases, 15 FIRs, including those of murder, were lodged against him while he was behind bars in Siwan jail.

After Supreme Court ordering Bihar government to shift Shahabuddin from Siwan jail to Tihar, the process has to be completed within seven days.

Shahabuddin, who was in jail for 11 years was was released by Patna High Court but only to be sent back by the SC.

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