New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to the Bihar government and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leaders Tej Pratap Yadav and Mohammad Shahabuddin in connection with the alleged murder of journalist Rajdev Ranjan.
A bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and C Nagappan came down heavily on criminalisation of politics in Bihar and asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to submit a status report on its probe of the murder within two weeks.
“It is sorrowful that those who hold political offices and executive posts do not think for a second before attaching themselves with anti-social elements and sometimes even rendering assistance,” the court said.
Asha Rajan, widow of Rajdev Ranjan, moved the apex court seeking to shift the murder trial to Delhi from Siwan in Bihar. On 13 May, Ranjan was shot dead in Siwan and the police suspected involvement of five men including RJD leader Mohammad Shahabuddin.
Another accused in the case, Mohammad Kaif, who is currently on bail was recently photographed with Bihar health minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son Tej Pratap Yadav.
The Bihar government has come under heavy criticism following the release of Shahabuddin, against whom at least 58 criminal cases are registered. Shahabuddin was granted bail on 7 September in a case of the murder of a witness in the 2004 killing of two brothers in Siwan. He got bail in nearly 12 other cases earlier.
The Bihar government and Chandrakeshwar Prasad, whose three sons were allegedly murdered by Shahabuddin, moved the apex court seeking cancellation of Shahabuddin’s bail. The supreme court is expected to hear the case against Shahabuddin’s bail on 26 September.
“Our stand on this is very clear. It was the rule of law because of which he was in jail for 12 years, it was the same law which got him out on bail and now it is the same rule of law which can be used to challenge it. As a coalition government, a judicio-legal process has been followed,” Manoj Jha, RJD’s national spokesperson, said on 16 September