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SC transfers Shahabuddin from Siwan jail to Tihar

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the transfer of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) strongman Mohammad Shahabuddin from the Siwan jail in Bihar to the Tihar Central Jail within a week.

The apex court pronounced its judgement on a plea filed by Asha Ranjan, wife of slain journalist Rajdeo Ranjan, seeking shifting of Shahabuddin for a free and fair trial in the case.

The apex court said the trial in pending cases against Shahabuddin in Bihar be conducted through video conferencing from Tihar jail.

In December 2016, Asha had allegedly received life threats again over the case she has filed against Shahabuddin.

It was the second time she has received a phone call from Dubai, asking her to withdraw the case against the former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP in the Supreme Court, failing which she and her children would be cut into pieces.

Asha Ranjan lodged an FIR in connection with the threats.

Gupta said she was frightened ever since she received the threat a second time and is demanding security.

She had lodged an FIR after receiving the first threat call from Dubai on December 26.

The scribe’s widow had moved the apex court seeking transfer of the probe and trial of her husband’s murder case to Delhi from Siwan, as she feared a free and fair trial against Shahabuddin was not possible if he was lodged in a Bihar jail.

Shahabuddin is currently lodged in Siwan jail after the apex court had, on September 30, 2016, cancelled his bail after hearing the two petitions filed by the Bihar government and lawyer Prashant Bhushan on behalf of the slain scribe’s family.

The Bihar government had, on May 16, 2016 within three days of the murder, handed over the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Her husband Rajdeo, who was the Siwan bureau chief of a noted Hindi daily, was shot dead on May 13 at a busy fruit market near Siwan railway station.

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