Scribe murder: SC grants time to CBI for filing report
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday granted time to CBI to file a report on its probe relating to news reports, photographs and videos showing former Bihar minister Tej Pratap Yadav, son of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, along with men accused of killing scribe Rajdev Ranjan.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud considered the submission of CBI counsel that two more days be granted for filing the fresh status report on the probe conducted on the alleged meeting of the accused with the then Health Minister.
"List after two weeks," the bench said. Earlier, the apex court had sought the CBI's response as to whether it has probed the news photographs and videos showing Yadav along with Mohd Kaif and Mohd Javed, accused of killing the scribe who were then absconding. The accused are currently in judicial custody.
It had then directed the CBI to file a status report on the probe 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, jailed RJD strongman and a co-accused in the sensational murder case.
The apex court had 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.
The 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 top court seeking transfer of the 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 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. 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, 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 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.