The Supreme Court on Friday set aside the Patna High Court order granting bail to local don Mohammad Shahabuddin, who is accused in several murder and kidnapping cases. The former Rashtriya Janata Dal legislator surrendered before the Siwan district court in Bihar and was sent to divisional jail, soon after the court directed the state government to begin the process to take him back into custody, PTI reported.
Security was beefed up in Siwan, Bihar, where Shahabuddin remains powerful, ahead of the proceedings. Personnel were sent to his house and also around the home of one of the petitioners – a couple whose three sons were killed by the former parliamentarian's henchmen. The top court also directed the trial court to expedite the murder case of Rajiv Roshan, one of the three sons.
A second plea was filed by the Bihar government, which had sought a non-bailable warrant against Shahabuddin. The couple's counsel Prashant Bhushan had said on Wednesday that granting him bail would endanger their lives.
The court had asked Shahabuddin, who is an accused in several other murders in the Siwan area, including that of journalist Rajdev Ranjan, to respond to these petitions on September 19. On Thursday, the court had pulled up the Bihar government for filing the plea against Shahabuddin only after he was released, instead of when he was granted bail in 45 prior cases.
Shahabuddin was released on bail from a Bihar jail on September 10, after nearly 11 years. The former Siwan MP had been sentenced to life and sent to prison in November 2005 in connection with the murder of two brothers in his native village in the district. He was granted bail in another case – the murder of Rajiv Roshan, a prime eyewitness in the killing of the two brothers. The court had claimed that the trial in the Roshan case could not begin as Shahabuddin, who was named a conspirator in the chargesheet, was in jail.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has accused the RJD and its chief Lalu Prasad Yadav of supporting Shahabuddin. He was welcomed by several politicians on his release from jail, including a Janata Dal(United) MLA. The JD(U), which is in an alliance with RJD and the Congress in Bihar, took a stern view of this.