SC defers hearing on bail to Shahabuddin to Wednesday

SC defers hearing on bail to Shahabuddin to Wednesday 

New Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday said that it will hear on Wednesday a petition by the Bihar government challenging the grant of bail to RJD strongman and former Siwan MLA Mohammad Shahabuddin in a murder case by the Patna High Court.

As the defence counsel sought a week’s time alleging that Shahabuddin has become a victim of trial by the media, the bench of Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Amitava Roy said they would not like to postpone the hearing even by a day.

“Since allegations and counter-allegations have been made, we don’t intend to adjourn the matter. So many witnesses have been bumped off. You want to wash away everything?” the court asked.

However, later the judges indicated that they will adjourn the matter until Wednesday at the request of the defence counsel that Ram Jethmalani, who is going to represent Shahabuddin in the case, is yet to be briefed on the matter.

Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner and slain Rajiv Roshan’s father Chandrakeshwar Prasad, urged the court to stay the September 7 Patna High Court order granting Shahabuddin bail. But Justice Ghose declined to put on hold the high court order immediately, saying, “We don’t intend to pass an order of stay at this stage.”

Opposing the plea by Bhushan, senior counsel Shekhar Naphade told the court that they are seeking adjournment also because they have to file some orders granting bail to Shahabuddin from various courts in Bihar.

Chandrakeshwar Prasad has moved the apex court challenging granting of bail to Shahabuddin as the trial in the Rajiv Roshan murder case is yet to commence.

Rajiv, the third son of Prasad, was allegedly killed by the henchmen of Shahabuddin, who was sentenced to life in a twin murder case. Shahabuddin’s henchmen had allegedly killed Prasad’s other two sons as well, and Rajiv was the sole eye-witness in the twin murder case.

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