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SC dismisses Shahabuddin's petition

The RJD MP seeks transfer of his cases out of Bihar on the ground he might not get a fair trial, writes Satya Prakash.

india Updated: Nov 13, 2006 20:09 IST

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed RJD MP Md Shahabuddin's petition seeking transfer of his cases out of Bihar on the ground that he might not get a fair trial in the NDA-ruled state.

A Bench headed by Justice GP Mathur dismissed the petition saying "at this moment we are not satisfied with the prayer".

Accused in as may as 46 criminal cases, the Bihar strongman is facing trial inside Siwan Jail after the state government issued a notification setting up a special court for this purpose.

Appearing for the RJD MP, senior counsel Ram Jethmalani submitted that the NDA government in Bihar was deliberately implicating him in cases and that he did not expect a fair trial in the state. He suggested that the trial could be shifted to neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.

However, the Bench dismissed his contention terming the allegation as baseless as most of the cases against Shahabuddin were registered when RJD was in power in the state.

As Jethmalani submitted that the then NDA Government at the Centre was behind it, the court was not impressed upon.

It also rejected his argument for shifting the trial out of Bihar saying it would be difficult for witnesses to go to some other state to record their testimony.

The court was not satisfied with his submission that an Additional Public Prosecutor, who was also appearing for Shahabuddin, was forced to quit by the District Magistrate. "We are not familiar with this kind of a system of Additional Public Prosecutors taking up cases against the State," it said.

When Jethmalani raised the issue of setting up of a special court in jail, the Bench said the High Court or the state government was entitled to do that.

In his petition, Shahabuddin, a four-time MP and twice MLA, claimed that he was a very popular political and social worker.

Alleging that the entire state administration was against him, the RJD MP narrated how he was "brutally assaulted" by the police in the jail.

He submitted that he was suffering from a disease called disc prolapse and needed proper medical care.


First Published: Nov 13, 2006 20:09 IST