A bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Amitava Roy said the order be communicated to the Bihar Home Secretary immediately. No special privileges be accorded to Shahabuddin during the course of his shifting, observed the bench.
After hearing petitioners’ complaint of Shabuddin’s men threatening witnesses, the SC ordered that he stand trial in cases from Tihar jail through video conferencing. He has 46 criminal cases pending against him.
Asha Ranjan, the wife of slain scribe Rajdeo Ranjan and Chandrakeshwar Prasad, whose three sons were killed, had moved the court to urge that Shahabuddin be shifted to Tihar jail for a free and fair trial.
The SC asked the Bihar government to transfer Shahabuddin to Tihar jail within a week. The court also asked the Patna HC to take a call on all cases within four months where the proceedings stayed.
It was at the SC’s intervention that Shahabuddin—who was released after spending 11 years in jail in September—was sent back to jail within weeks.
It is a well-known fact Shahabuddin had a free run in Bihar’s prisons. Last month, someone posted his selfie on social media showing his changed look. All this when jail rules state that prisoners aren’t allowed access to mobile phones.
When the Bihar government was asked to respond to the petitioners’ concerns, it had submitted that it was not “averse” to shifting Shahabuddin to Tihar jail. It was during Nitish Kumar’s earlier stint as the CM that the police had cracked down on Shahabuddin’s reign of terror in Siwan