Thursday, October 04, 2007

"speedy trial campaign" launched by the state government restoring the people's faith in the judicial system

The court order awarding death and life imprisonment to Anand Mohan and Lovely Anand has sent shivers down the spines of many more politicians in Bihar against whom criminal cases are pending.

Some influential politicians, mainly MPs and MLAs, are facing trial and for some others verdicts could come any day. Those in the line of fire include MPs Prabhunath Singh (JD-U) and Surajbhan Singh (LJP), suspended JD(U) MLA Narendra Pandey alias Sunil Pandey and former MLA Rajan Tewary. Another MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav of RJD is also in the queue. Bihar principal home secretary Afzal Amanullah said bureaucracy, across the board, welcomed the verdict.

Though people were sceptical of the "speedy trial campaign" launched by the state government, the court's order has restored the people's faith in the judicial system, he added.

"The government is keen that whosoever and howsoever powerful he/she may be, without any favour, will face the consequences, if convicted by the court," Amanullah told TOI on Wednesday.

He also asserted that the court trials would be further accelerated and all the SPs had been ordered to monitor at least ten major cases in their districts. "There may be many elements who are hoping to get some relief once this speedy trial process slows down. But they should note that this will not happen and government is committed to see the law-breakers being adequately punished," he said.

RJD strongman and Siwan MP Mohammad Shahabuddin has been convicted and punished in four separate cases including life term in one of them. There is hardly any hope for him to come out of prison.

The trial of Prabhunath Singh, the vocal JD(U) MP from Maharajganj, is in the final stage and the verdict is awaited any day. The cases relate to abduction and murder. Against LJP MP Surajbhan Singh — an accused in over half-a-dozen criminal cases — the trial has already begun. Similarly, in the Brij Behari murder case, the hearing has been almost completed in the special CBI court and only some legal formalities need to be completed.

Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, the RJD MP from Madhepura, and former MLA Rajan Tewary are the accused in the case. Wednesday's sentence is enough to make those politicians with pending criminal cases against them, a scared lot.

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