Notice to Bihar on Shahabuddin’s trial in jail

March 10th, 2008 - 8:23 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday issued notice to the Bihar government on a plea by Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Mohammed Shahabuddin questioning his trial in Siwan jail for various criminal cases lodged against him. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhan and Dalveer Bhandari issued the notice on Shahabuddin’s contention that his ongoing trial in Siwan jail, away from and outside a general court room, does not meet the requirement of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

Appearing for Shahabuddin, senior counsel and law minister Ram Jethmalani contended that as per the provisions of the CrPC, the Bihar government could not have begun his client’s trial without his consent at any place, other than a general court room with proper territorial jurisdiction over the area in which the crime was allegedly committed by him.

His client never gave the state government his consent to try him in Siwan jail, said Jethmalani, adding that despite the absence of the requisite consent from his client, the state issued two notifications in 2006 to try him in the prison.

Jethmalani contended that in the absence of his client’s requisite prior consent, his ongoing trial in the jail stands vitiated in the eyes of the law and could not be said to be a free and fair trial.

This, in turn, affects his fundamental right to have a free and fair trial, said Jethmalani.

He also questioned the Bihar government’s decision to try in jail only Shahabuddin and not other inmates of that jail.

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