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EditorialTravesty of Justice!

Travesty of Justice!


Travesty of Justice!

The visuals of grand reception to the controversial RJD leader and Bihar's dreaded underworld don Shahabuddin were not only disturbing but shocking. The dreaded underworld don facing scores of organized and gruesome crimes and life term in jail is released on bail by the single judge bench of Justice Jitendra Mohan Sharma of Patna High Court in the case related to the murder of the prime witness in the chilling murder by acid bath of two brothers in 2004.

Interestingly, Justice Sharma, who granted bail to Shahabuddin a fortnight ago, had on February 3 this year, rejected his bail application in the same case.

Shockingly, the Judge Ajay Kumar Shrivastava who sentenced this RJD leader Mohammad Shahabuddin to life imprisonment in a double murder case was transferred from Siwan just two days after the former Lok Sabha member secured bail from the Patna high court in another murder case. Feeling unsafe, the judge had himself sought the transfer through a he wrote to the HC.

Obliviously, such development that has strengthened the common belief of Jungle Raj in Bihar constrained us to express strongly on the travesty of justice as danger to the society is not exclusively confined to that state but it concerns entire nation. The term travesty of justice is sometimes used for a gross, deliberate miscarriage of justice.

The Apex Court of last Friday directed CBI to proceed with its probe into the murder of journalist Rajdev Ranjan and asked the Bihar police to provide protection to his family that has claimed threat to life from SC, however, did not admit the plea of the petitioner to transfer the case from Siwan to Delhi for fear of “political influence” and “fear of Shahabuddin” as the state machinery was protecting the history-sheeter, against whom there were 58 criminal cases according to Bihar government's 2014 affidavit in the apex court. The High Court bail order will have huge legal, social and political implications shaking public trust in the judicial system in the country where, in the most of the cases, the rich and powerful often get safe passage.

The Siwan Judge sentenced the former MP to life imprisonment for the murder of two brothers, Satish Raj and Girish Raj. The duo was drenched in acid at Shahabuddin's village, Pratapur, in August 2004. Their elder brother Rajeev Raushan, an eyewitness to their killings, was also murdered on June 16, 2014, three days before he was to depose before a trial court.

It was in the Raushan murder case that the Patna HC had granted bail to Shahabuddin. It was reported that a sense of fear has gripped residents of Siwan ever since Shahabuddin reached home and police had to provide security to at least 20 people since Shahabuddin's release.

Police have also enhanced the ‘security cover' of the elderly parents of three murdered brothers and the family of journalist Rajdeo Ranjan, in whose killing Shahabuddin is a suspect. Shahabuddin was shifted from Siwan jail to Bhagalpur central jail in May, just days after Ranjan was murdered.

The counsel for the petitioner pointed out before SC, “Look at the face of Shahabuddin….does it look like he has undergone imprisonment for years………….I am forced to write whatever is going on is unacceptable…..the person should be behind bars…… and order cannot be a state issue alone…….a criminal is not criminal for the state alone….he can do crime in other states also…..such people should be behind bar…..things cannot be left to state govt. whims and fancy……these are issues……look at what the CM image is after the whole issue……I am with the father of persons who died….”

Shahabuddin, who is allegedly, involved in various cases including murder, kidnapping, theft, violation of the foreign exchange Act and treason, was twice transferred out of Siwan jail, for a few months each time, to the Bhagalpur and Gaya jails. He was convicted for the first time on May 8, 2007, on charges of abduction and killing of CPI (ML) worker Chhote Lal Gupta in February 1999.

Shahabuddin's name, most notoriously, figured in the murder of former JNU president Chandrashekhar, who was shot dead in Siwan on March 31, 1997. He was earlier granted bail for illegal possession and usage of mobile phones and related communication equipment in jail by a Siwan court.

During the Lalu Prasad-Rabri Devi era, Shahabuddin ran a parallel administration in Siwan right from the 1990s till 2005 when President's rule was clamped in Bihar. The district gained notoriety not only for murders and abductions, but also for the iron hand Shahabuddin had used to deal with his political opponents and foes. Not a single poster of any Opposition leader was visible when he contested elections. He decided the fees doctors would charge from patients. He would hold Kangaroo courts to decide disputes in Siwan. He was charged with opening fire on the SP of Siwan. The Bihar and UP police fought a gun battle with him and his men in his native village, leading to the death of 10 persons, including two policemen.

Why courts are taking credentials for his bail? Shahabuddin was free from day one as Laloo used to visit often with his brother and giving full respect by appointing and distributing tickets to his kith and kin.

It shows a scandalous failure of the legal system or any system of justice. It can mean someone goes unpunished so not limited to one type of failure. Any time the system fails, especially in a spectacular way, it can be a travesty (or denial) of justice.

What a welcome for a CRIMINAL! Bihar is incomparable!


The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.


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