The Supreme Court today asked the CBI to conclude its investigation in the journalist Rajdev Ranjan murder case in Bihar within three months.
Controversial gangster-turned RJD leader Mohd Shahabuddin is also under scanner in the case
A bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy made it clear that no accused in the murder case shall seek bail on the statutory ground that charge sheets have not been filed in the matter.
The bench also sought a report from the sessions judge at Siwan as to whether the two absconding offenders, Mohammad Kaif and Mohd Javed, were declared proclaimed offenders in the case on the day they were seen along with Bihar Health minister Tej Pratap Yadav and controversial RJD leader Shahabuddin.
The Bihar government, meanwhile, told the bench that the two accused were not declared proclaimed offenders when they met the Health Minister at Siwan.
The court had on September 23 allowed the CBI to proceed with the probe.
It had also asked the Bihar police to provide protection to his family that has claimed threat to life from RJD leader and gangster Mohammed Shahabuddin.
The Bench had also sought response of Shahabuddin, Bihar's health minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad's son Tej Pratap Yadav and Bihar government on a petition by Ranjan's wife who has also sought transfer of the case from Siwan in Bihar to Delhi.
“It is brought to our notice that CBI has not commenced the investigation. In view of that, we direct that the CBI may proceed with the investigation but not finalize it and shall file the status report before this Court on October 10, 2016.
The Superintendent of Police, Siwan District shall provide police protection to the petitioner and her family.
The concerned Station House Officer of Nagar Thana shall also see that the protection is given. We have directed both the Superintendent of Police and the Station House Officer so that the petitioner, a lady in distress, shall feel protected”, said the bench
Counsel for Ranjan's wife Asha Ranjan argued: “CBI has not even started its probe into the case due to political influence and fear of Shahabuddin as the state machinery was protecting the history sheeter, against whom there were 58 criminal cases according to Bihar government's 2014 affidavit in the apex court”.
When the counsel said the case should be transferred to Delhi, Justice Misra said CBI shall continue the investigation there.
“Eventually, after hearing them, we may consider whether to transfer the case. There is no trial as of now. Let them investigate”, said the bench.
The counsel told the court that five persons were arrested by Bihar Police in connection with the case, but the two alleged sharp shooters of Shahabuddin were not.
CBI did not dare to take up the investigation in the case due to fear of Shahabuddin. Two sharp shooters, Md Kaif and Mohd Javed, were seen with Shahabuddin and Health Minister of Bihar Tej Pratap Yadav. Entire state machinery is protecting Shahabuddin, he alleged.
Kaif surrendered before a Siwan court two days ago. He said that Rajdev, a journalist, had written various stories about the criminal deeds of Shahabuddin and after RJD-JD(U) alliance came to power in Bihar, he was shot dead.
Terror of Shahabuddin was so high that even the trial judge, who had convicted him in one of the case, has requested for transfer from Siwan to Patna, he alleged while seeking transfer of the case from Siwan to Delhi.
Read the order here.
This article has been made possible because of financial support from Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.