NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today deferred for two days the hearing on two appeals challenging Patna High Court granting bail to controversial RJD leader Mohd Shahabuddin in a murder case, as noted criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani who would argue for him was not available.
A bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy listed the matter for hearing on Wednesday saying it has to strike a balance between the interests of both the parties.
One of the lawyers, representing Shahabuddin, urged that the matter be taken up on Friday as Jethmalani was not available and moreover voluminous case records needed to be studied for proper defence.
"Since there are allegations and counter allegations being made in the case, we shall not pass any order without hearing both the sides. We are fixing it on Wednesday (September 28)," the bench said.
Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, also appearing for Shahabuddin, said his client has been suffering from media trial and should be given adequate opportunity to present his case.
Shahabuddin, who was granted bail by the Patna High Court on September 7, was released from Bhagalpur jail on September 10. He was in jail for 11 years in connection with dozens of cases against him.
On September 19, the apex court had sought a response from Shahabuddin on a separate plea filed by Siwan resident Chandrakeshwar Prasad, challenging the bail granted to him by Patna High Court, in the murder case of his third son.
The apex court is also hearing a separate plea filed by the widow of journalist Rajdev Ranjan, who was murdered in Siwan allegedly at the instance of Shahabuddin, seeking transfer of the case to Delhi.
Kalawati Devi, wife of Chandrakeshwar Prasad and the mother of three youths who were brutally killed by henchmen of the controversial politician, had also moved the Supreme Court seeking cancellation of bail granted to him in the case in which he has already been sentenced to life.
Devi, in her plea filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan, said her sons, Girish and Satish, were abducted by Shahabuddin's henchmen. They were brutally assaulted and killed by acid poured on them and their bodies, packed in a sack full of salt, buried.
The plea also alleged that Devi's third son, Rajiv Roshan, was also abducted then but had managed to escape. He was an eye-witness to the killing of his two brothers.
She claimed that during pendency of trial in the twin murder case, Roshan was killed in June 2014 allegedly at the behest of Shahabuddin who is facing trial in the case.
In her plea, Devi had said that as per an affidavit filed by the Bihar government in the apex court, till November 2014, trials in at least 38 cases were pending against him in which he was facing alleged heinous charges of murder, attempt to murder, rioting with deadly weapon, extortion and others.