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Produce licences of seized weapons: SC tells Shahabuddin

The court also seeks to know why a public servant like him needed to keep such weapons, reports Satya Prakash.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2007 20:47 IST

The Supreme Court on Monday asked RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin to produce licences of the sophisticated weapons recovered from his residence in Siwan district of Bihar and sought to know why a public servant had to keep such weapons.

During the hearing on Shahabuddin's bail plea in an Arms Act case, a Bench headed by Justice GP Mathur pointed out that there were 52 criminal cases pending against him and that police recovered bullet-proof jackets, three telescopic rifles, night vision devices and several other arms and ammunitions.

"Are you in the Army? Why should you need all these weapons? You need 1000 cartridges? You are not security personnel. "You are janata kasevak, an MP. Why should you need all this," the Bench asked.

Coming down heavily on the Bihar strongman, the Bench said that some of the weapons and devices recovered from him were not even available to the police and Central Reserve Police Force. It was not a normal case of keeping firearms, the Bench noted.

The recoveries were made by the police during a raid at Shahabuddin's Pratapur residence in Siwan.

Nagender Rai claimed that the MP needed the weapons to save him from CPI-ML activists and that he had valid licences issued by the autorities for them. The Bench asked him to produce the licences and adjourned the hearing for two weeks.

Only last week, Shahabuddin was granted bail by the Patna High Court in another Arms Act case.

Earlier, the apex court had on November 13, 2006 dismissed Shahabuddin's petition seeking transfer of his cases out of Bihar.

The RJD MP, who is facing trial inside Siwan Jail after the state government issued a notification setting up a special court for this purpose, had expressed the apprehension that he might not get a fair trial under NDA regime in the state.

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First Published: Jan 08, 2007 20:47 IST