Lalu’s son Tej Pratap Yadav admits meeting scribe Rajdeo Ranjan’s murder accused
Bihar health minister Tej Pratap accepted a bouquet from accused Mohammad Kaif when he attended a lunch hosted by the civil surgeon on way to Siwan on February 13.india Updated: Oct 17, 2016 23:58 IST
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad’s son and Bihar health minister Tej Pratap Yadav admitted on Monday to having met the two accused in journalist Rajdeo Ranjan’s murder at a get-together, but denied having knowledge about their involvement in the crime.
Yadav’s counsel, senior advocate Surender Singh, told a bench headed by justice Dipak Misra that the minister accepted a bouquet from accused Mohammad Kaif when he attended a lunch hosted by the civil surgeon on way to Siwan on February 13.
“A bouquet was presented to me at the lunch. Later, I was informed that the man was Mohammad Kaif. But I have been told that he was not a proclaimed offender then in the murder case,” Singh submitted. The bench was hearing Ranjan’s wife’s petition to transfer the probe to CBI and hold its trial in Delhi.
The Bihar government also countered the petitioner’s allegations that Kaif and his accomplice Mohd Javed were proclaimed offenders when they met Yadav.
In the wake of a dispute, the top court asked district and sessions judge of Siwan to submit a report along with judicial order to show whether they faced arrest warrants when they met Yadav.
Besides, the bench gave three months to the CBI to conclude its investigation in the murder case. Before the case was transferred to the central agency, the Bihar police had already filed a report.
As CBI is carrying out further investigation and awaiting forensic reports, the top court said no accused shall seek bail on the ground that the central agency is still probing the matter.
Ranjan’s wife Asha Ranjan had claimed before the apex court on September 23 that the CBI had not even started its probe in the case due to “political influence” and “fear of Shahabuddin”. In her petition, she said she was unsure of a fair trial because former RJD MP Shahabuddin was involved in the case and his party, in alliance with JD(U), was ruling the state.
The RJD chief’s son was seen in a photograph published in newspapers with one of the two sharp shooters of alleged gangster-turned-politician Mohd Shahabuddin.