Supreme Court rejects Shahabuddin's bail plea
Live Punjab News Service
New Delhi -- The Supreme Court Friday rejected the bail petition of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Mohammed Shahabuddin in a case related to the recovery of arms and ammunitions from his residence in Bihar's Siwan district.
A bench of Justices R.V. Raveendran and Dalveer Bhandari refused to entertain the plea that Shahabuddin had been in jail for over 15 months and that he should be released on bail. According to the judge, the plea had no merits as he had been accused in a number of other cases as well.
During the hearing last month, the court had wondered how the MP from Siwan was in possession of equipment like bulletproof jackets and telescopic device and wanted to know from his counsel whether he had a license for them - and if so, whether it could be produced in the court.
On Friday, counsel said Shahabuddin did have a license but the bench was unconvinced.
Pointing out that about 1,000 cartridges were recovered, the judges asked: "Are you (Shahabuddin) a member of the armed forces and under what authority you have been keeping these. You are not security personnel. You do not require all these. You are a people's representative and do you need 1,000 cartridges."
When counsel said that Shahabuddin had to keep arms as there was threat to his life from the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML) activists, the bench said: "It is extraneous. By virtue of being an MP, are you entitled to keep these weapons, including a `night vision device' when even the police, CRPF and other security agencies do not have it and only the army possesses it."
The court drew attention to the fact that there were some 52 criminal cases against the accused. Shahabuddin's lawyers submitted that he had been granted bail in most of them.
Shahabuddin, an MP since 1996, has cases ranging from murder and abduction to extortion and possession of illegal arms.