The court turned down Shahabuddin's contention that moving him out of the state would violate his fundamental rights. Society is much more important than you, the court said to him. In photo: Tihar Jail Photograph: (AFP)
He is currently lodged in Bihar's Siwan Jail. The court said trials pending in the cases against him would be conducted via video conference
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Mohammad Shahabuddin is to be moved to Tihar jail in Delhi from Siwan in Bihar, the Supreme Court ordered on Wednesday.
The court has given the authorities a week to carry out its order, and said that any pending trials in the cases against Shahabuddin can be carried out via video conferencing.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy said: "It is the obligation and duty of this court to ensure free and fair trial".
The court order came on the pleas of the Siwan-based Chandrakeshwar Prasad, whose three sons were killed in two separate incidents, and Asha Ranjan, the wife of journalist Rajdeo Ranjan who was murdered in Siwan, who had asked that the RJD leader be moved out of Siwan jail.
The petitioners had told the Supreme Court that Shahabuddin should be moved out of the state, so that a free and fair trial can be carried out against him.
The court agreed with the petitioners. turning down Shahabuddin's plea that moving him out of the state would be violative of his fundamental rights.
Society is much more important than you, the court told Shahabuddin.
"We direct the state of Bihar to transfer Mohammad Shahabuddin from district jail Siwan to Tihar jail Delhi," the bench said.
The Bihar government had earlier told the apex court that it is not "averse" to shifting Shahabuddin from Siwan prison to Tihar Jail here.
The state government had told the apex court that Shahabuddin is facing trial in 45 cases, including one in Jharkhand.
(WiON with inputs from PTII)