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Trial to be held via video-conferencing

Gangster-turned-RJD leader Mohammad Shahabuddin will be moved to Tihar jail from Bihar jail where he is lodged now, the Supreme Court ordered on February 15. His trial would be conducted through video conferencing.

The Supreme Court was reacting to two petitions. One was filed by the widow (Asha Ranjan) of the late senior reporter Rajdev Ranjan of Dainik Hindustan, who was brutally murdered on May 13, 2016 by a group of persons. Another was on the basis of an FIR filed by the investigation agency which arrested five persons, but did not take any steps to arrest two principal accused persons, Mohammad Kaif and Mohammad Javed.

On October 17 last year, the Supreme Court had directed the CBI to conclude its investigation in the Ranjan murder case in Bihar within three months.

In the connected petition, Shahabuddin, who is also involved in this murder case as well as in many other criminal cases, was ordered to be moved out of Bihar Jail to any other Jail. Tihar jail was the decision on February 15.

The court said: “The right to fair trial is not singular on the perspective of the accused but also to the victim and the public at large. This invites conflict between fundamental rights of victims and public at large.

“Fair trial is not something which accused wants but also about interest of the public at large and rule of law should be followed. Depending upon these principles, this court, under Article 142 of the Constitution, cannot pass order in its violation,” the court observed.

“However in the present case fair trial is needed. We direct to transfer Shahabuddin to Tihar within a week, where trial will be conducted by video conferencing.”

By India Legal Bureau

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