The Supreme Court on Thursday questioned the Bihar government over delay in the prosecution of ex-RJD MP Shahabuddin in the case of murder of a man, who was a witness to the killing of his two brothers.
A bench of Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy said the court would draw its own inference if the prosecution failed to provide a copy of chargesheet to the accused in the murder case of Rajiv Roshan.
“What kind of a prosecution is this that the chargesheet is not served upon the accused even after 17 months...we have to see the balance as it is a question of liberty,” the bench said while reserving its order on the pleas against the Patna High Court’s judgement of September 7 granting bail to Shahabuddin.
Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Shahabuddin, contended that the accused was not even provided a copy of the chargesheet. He submitted that the court should not interfere with the high court order. The court may impose any condition on him and keep him outside Bihar, he pleaded, adding the accused was inside jail when the incident happened. The Bihar government’s counsel senior advocate Dinesh Dwivedi submitted that the antecedents of the accused have to be seen, who faced about 45 criminal cases. “Liberty of a person is of course utmost importance but it has to be weighed with the interest of the society. Such a person cannot be unleashed on the society,” he submitted.
“Is it not the obligation of the prosecution to provide all papers to the accused? It is not that we are absolutely alien to the trial court’s proceedings,” the bench said, questioning the Bihar government.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing Chandrakeshwar Prasad whose three sons were killed in two separate crimes in Siwan allegedly at the instance of Shahabuddin, contended that the accused never raised a grievance earlier about the copy of chargesheet not been provided him.
“We have to act on records. If papers are not provided, we would draw our inferences, though it would be onerous task for us,” the bench said, reserving the judgement for Thursday.