SC closes proceedings against Tej Pratap in scribe murder case

The bench ordered closure of the proceedings against Tej Pratap and gave the slain journalist's widow the liberty to get her plea revised if some incriminating material surfaces in the future.

Published: 22nd March 2018 09:18 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd March 2018 09:18 PM   |  A+A-

Tej Pratap Yadav (File Photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today closed the proceedings against former Bihar health minister Tej Pratap Yadav, son of jailed RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, in the murder case of a Siwan-based journalist.

The apex court had asked the CBI to investigate allegations relating to media reports featuring photographs and videos that showed Yadav, a former Bihar minister, along with two absconding accused, Mohd Kaif and Javed, who are currently in judicial custody in the Rajdeo Ranjan murder case.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud considered the submission of Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Aman Lekhi that CBI has not found any incriminating material against the RJD leader.

The bench ordered closure of the proceedings against Tej Pratap and gave the slain journalist's widow the liberty to get her plea revised if some incriminating material surfaces in the future.

"It is the stand of the CBI that they have not been able to link him with any criminal activity in so far as the photograph and the transcript are concerned.

In view of the aforesaid, we do not intend to keep this writ petition pending.

"However, liberty is granted to the petitioner to approach the appropriate court in case there is any kind of deviation by the respondent no.

4 (Yadav), which would fall within the concept of criminality," the court said in its order.

The ASG told the court that the CBI is probing the matter with regard to the involvement of Mohammad Kaif and Mohammad Javed, who are already in custody.

He said a charge sheet has been filed in the case and the accused, including Kaif and Javed, are in jail now.

The apex court had in November last year sought the CBI's response on its probe relating to news reports on photographs and videos showing the former Bihar minister along with the then absconding accused of killing scribe Rajdev Ranjan.

The CBI had said that it has already filed a charge sheet in the scribe murder case on August 22 before a special CBI court.

The apex court had directed the CBI to file a status report on the investigation conducted into the allegations of harbouring and sheltering the then absconding accused in the murder case and the news reports that purportedly showed them in the company of Yadav and Mohd Shahabuddin, a jailed RJD strongman and a co-accused in the sensational murder case.

The top court had earlier issued notices to Shahabuddin, Yadav and the Bihar government on the plea of Ranjan's wife seeking transfer of the case from Siwan in Bihar to Delhi.

It Supreme Court had directed the CBI to proceed with the probe and ordered police protection to the scribe's wife Asha Ranjan and their family.

Asha had moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer of probe and trial in the case to Delhi alleging that media reports had shown two absconding killers of her husband in the company of Shahabuddin and Yadav.

She had sought relief, including a direction to the CBI, to take up the investigation forthwith in view of the fact that the then proclaimed offenders, Mohd Kaif and Mohd Javed, were spotted with Shahabuddin and the then state Health Minister, where several cops were also present.

Kaif had surrendered in the Siwan district court on September 21 last year.

The scribe, working with a vernacular daily, was shot dead on the evening of May 13 in Siwan town by some sharp-shooters allegedly at the instance of then jailed RJD leader Shahabuddin, the plea alleged.

Despite being named by the family of the journalist, the Siwan police did not name Shahabuddin in the FIR as a key conspirator, it alleged.

It had also alleged that the RJD leader was irked over some reports by the slain journalist on the issue of murder of three sons of Chandrakeshwar Prasad.

Shahabuddin was awarded life term in one of the cases.

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