SC orders shifting of Shahabuddin from Bihar to Tihar jail

SC orders shifting of Shahabuddin from Bihar to Tihar jail

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered shifting of RJD leader Mohammad Shahabuddin to Delhi’s Tihar prison from a Bihar jail in a week, in order to “safeguard the principle of fair trial”.

Rejecting Shahabuddin’s plea that shifting him from one state to another would violate his fundamental right, a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy held that the principle of free and fair trial does not protect rights of only the accused, but also ensures that victims’ faith in the justice delivery system is maintained.

Directing to hold trial in all cases against Shahabuddin through video-conferencing, the bench said, “This is not a normal and usual case”.

Acting on two petitions one by the wife of a slain journalist and another by the father of three sons killed allegedly at Shahabuddin’s instance the court passed its order, while exercising its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution, in the “interest of the collective and social order”.

  “An accused who has been able to, by his sheer presence, erode the idea of safety of a witness in court or for that matter impairs the faith of a victim in the ultimate justice and such erosion is due to fear psychosis prevalent in the atmosphere of trial, is not to be countenanced as it is an unconscionable situation,” the bench said.

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