High Court grants bail to RJD politician Shahabuddin in acid murder case
The Patna High Court today granted bail to controversial Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) politician Mohammad Shahabuddin sentenced to life imprisonment in acid murder case.
The court of Justice Anjana Prakash granted incarcerated politician the bail after hearing his case today. However, he will not come out the jail as he is facing trial in dozens of other cases pending against him. The relief comes barely a month after the High Court had refused to grant him bail.
Earlier, the court of justice Hemant Kumar Srivastava had refused to entertain his case citing no reasons and urged the Chief Justice to hand over the case to some other bench. Subsequently, the case was transferred to the court of Justice Jitendra Mohan Sharma but he rejected the bail.
Shahabuddin, a criminal-turned-politician, was sentenced to life imprisonment in December last year by a local district court in Siwan in connection with the kidnapping-cum-murder of two youths, both brothers by giving them an acid bath. Both the victims belonged to Siwan, the home district of the incarcerated politician.
The case had hit the headlines in August 2004 when three sons of a Siwan businessman Chandra Keshwar Prasad were picked up from their business locations by the henchmen of former parliamentarian, taken to his native village of Pratappur and then bathed in acid, leading to death of two victims. The third victim, however, managed to flee the scene. The accused persons were also charged with destroying the evidence as despite serious efforts, the police failed to recover the bodies. The incident had taken place in August 2004 when Shahabuddin was in jail, thus also putting the jail administration in the dock.
Soon after the incident, victims’ mother Kalawati Devi had registered a case with the local police, charging Shahabuddin’s three henchmen with the murder of her sons. Reports said initially Shahabuddin’s name did not figure in the police FIR but later he too was made an accused for hatching a conspiracy for kidnapping the three siblings after his name cropped up during the course of investigation.
The lone surviving brother appeared before the judge as an eyewitness in the case some five years after the incident, but was subsequently murdered by unidentified assailants on June 16 last year. Shahabuddin’s son Osama was accused of hatching a conspiracy to eliminate the third eyewitness in the case.
Shahabuddin is currently lodged in his home-town Siwna jail, facing more than four dozen serious criminal cases, such as murder, kidnapping, theft, violation of Foreign Exchange Act and treason. He has already been sentenced to life term in connection with kidnapping-cum-murder of a CPI-ML leader, 10-year imprisonment for possessing illegal arms and ammunitions, and another three year’s rigorous imprisonment in a case of vehicle theft.
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