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Patna HC upholds life term of ex- MP Shahabuddin in 2004 double murder case

Upholding a special Siwan court order awarding life sentence to the former lawmaker and his associates, the HC division bench refused to interfere in the matter.

india Updated: Aug 30, 2017 22:03 IST
Prashant Pratap and Alok Mohit
Prashant Pratap and Alok Mohit
Patna, Hindustan Times
Shahabuddin,Mohammad Shahabuddin,Bihar double murder
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and former MP Mohammad Shahabuddin is, at present, lodged in Tihar jail in New Delhi .(PTI File)

The Patna high court on Wednesday rejected the petition of former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP and Siwan strongman Mohammad Shahabuddin and three others, challenging their conviction in a 2004 double murder case.

Upholding a special Siwan court order awarding life sentence to the former lawmaker and his associates, a division bench of justice KK Mandal and justice Sanjay Kumar refused to interfere in the matter.

“This court finds no merit to interfere with the judgment of conviction and order of sentence passed by the trial court,” the bench said.

Shahabuddin’s lawyer had earlier pleaded that the trial court order be quashed as the former Siwan MP’s name had not figured in the initial FIR and was added only after 62 months. “We will now move the Supreme Court for relief,” he said.

The special court in Siwan on December 11, 2015 sentenced Shahabuddin, Rajkumar Sah, Sheikh Aslam and Munna Mian to life imprisonment finding them guilty of abducting and killing two sons of a businessman.

Delivering the verdict at a special court created on Siwan prison premises, additional district judge Ajay Kumar Srivastava pronounced the former politician guilty under sections 302 (murder), 364A (kidnapping for ransom, etc), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

  • Convicted on May 8, 2007 by a special court that gave him life imprisonment for the abduction of CPI(ML) worker Chhote Lal Gupta in February, 1999.
  • On August 30, 2007, Shahabuddin was found guilty of attacking Siwan SP Sanjiv Kumar Singhal. He faces a jail term of 10 years in the case.
  • till September 10, 2016, he remained incarcerated, shuttling between Bhagalpur and Gaya jails.
  • The Patna HC on September 7, 2016 granted Shahabuddin bail in a case involving murder of a witness in the killing of siblings Girish and Satish Raj.
  • The SC on September 30, 2016 cancelled Shahabuddin’s bail and directed the Bihar government to take him into custody immediately.
  • Of the 40 criminal cases Shahabuddin faces, judgment has come in 12 cases. He was acquitted in 4, while he has nearly completed his sentence in 8 other cases.
  • Shahabuddin has been convicted in 10 other cases. In other cases the trial is yet to complete.

Satish Raj and Girish Raj, sons of Siwan businessman Chandrakeshwar Prasad alias Chanda Babu and Kalawati Devi, were abducted and killed on August 16, 2004 after being drenched in acid. Their bodies were never recovered.

Chanda Babu’s third son, Rajiv Roshan, managed to escape, But, Roshan, the sole eyewitness in the case, was shot dead on June 16, 2014 - three days before he was to appear in a court as witness.

After the verdict, Chanda Babu told TV news channels that he respected the court’s order and had faith in God. He, however, said since it was the “rarest of rare case”, Shahabuddin and his aides should get death penalty.

Chanda Babu said although his loss was irreparable, he was happy that justice had prevailed.

Recalling the incident, Chanda Babu said when he was away in Patna on August 16, 2004, alleged henchmen of Shahabuddin reached his Gaushala Road shop and picked up a quarrel with his sons.

“They dispersed after Girish threatened to pour acid on them, only to return with many others who picked up Girish, Rajiv, and Satish and took them to Shahabuddin’s village, Pratappur. As the men allegedly poured acid on Girish and Satish , Rajiv managed to escape. But on June 16, 2014, Rajiv was gunned down,” Chanda Babu said.

Shahabuddin is at present lodged in high-security Tihar jail in New Delhi after the Supreme Court ordered the Bihar government to move him out of the state to ensure “free and fair” trial in cases involving the former MP.

The top court’s order came on petitions filed by Asha Ranjan, wife of slain journalist Rajdeo Ranjan, and Chanda Babu.The Rajdeo Ranjan case is pending trial in a special CBI court at Muzaffarpur.

Shahabuddin is facing trial in more than 40 cases.

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 16:53 IST