India: Bihar government likely to move Supreme Court against Shahabuddin's bail?

In a major development, a video has gone viral in which wanted sharpshooter Mohammad Kaif can be seen standing with Shahabuddin after his release. Photograph:( AFP )

New Delhi, Delhi, India Sep 15, 2016, 04.13 AM (IST)
Nitish Kumar-led state government in India's eastern Bihar is likely to move the country's top court against the bail granted to former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) parliamentarian Mohammad Shahabuddin, who was released from jail last week. 

The Janata Dal (United)-Rashtriya Janata Dal coalition government in Bihar has been facing flak over Shahabuddin's relase prompting the chief minister Nitish Kumar to consider filing an appeal against his bail, local media reports said today. 

The state government has said it would also ensure there are no lapses as it prepares strong cases against in cases yet to go to trial, according to local media. 

Shahabuddin, who has more than 40 criminal cases against him, including charges of murder, extortion and kidnapping, was released on bail after 11 years on September 10. 

The Patna high court granted him bail in the murder case of a witness, journalist Rajdeo Ranjan from Bihar, in the 2004 killing of two brothers.

Victim's wife to move court

The wife of the slain scribe has moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer of "the entire proceedings and the the interests of justice, to Delhi from Siwan."

In a statement, she also said that a status report would be sought from the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) about the progress made so far in the case, Indian news agency PTI reported. 

"Direct the state to pay the appropriate compensation to the petitioner and her family members as per law," the statement read adding that the state be asked to ensure "respectable and appropriate free of cost and safe residential accommodation to the petitioner and her family out of Bihar".

Prashant Bhushan, an Indian lawyer, activist and politician, has also said that he would challenge Patna high court order that granted bail to Shahabuddin. 

"We are filing the appeal tomorrow on behalf of victims father Chandrakeshwar Prasad alias Chandra Babu. We are on way to give final shape to the appeal and it will be filed tomorrow in which several grounds are taken.

"We will be challenging how bail has been given to a person who is a history sheeter. Facts are being verified about the number of cases etc and convictions that have taken place against him," advocate Rohit Singh from Bhushan's office was quoted as saying by PTI.

Spells of trouble

In a major development signalling trouble for the ruling RJD, a video has gone viral where a wanted sharpshooter, Mohammad Kaif, can be seen standing with the leader after his release from prison. 

In the video clip, Kaif, the accused in the murder of Ranjan, is seen cheering Shahabuddin on as the latter spoke to media after his release.

Yet another controversy was sparked when the son of RJD leader and former chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, Tej Pratap Yadav, was seen with Kaif in a photograph that went viral on social media.  

The appearance of Pratap Yadav, who is also the health minister of Bihar, in the same frame with Kaif drew severe criticism from India's ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

Yadav, however, dismissed the charge, according to media reports. 

"Thousands of supporters and people meet him every day and click photographs with him," he said, and that "it is not possible for him to know their background".

"How would I know who is a shooter from among 1,000 people who click a photo with me?"  he was quoted as saying. 

"It is a conspiracy of opposition BJP. They bring some photograph from somewhere and make some false allegations,” he added. 

(WION with inputs from agencies)