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Keep criminals in jails, not hospitals: Patna HC

April 23, 2004 18:21 IST

Taking serious note of many accused, including ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal nominee from Siwan constituency Mohammad Shahabuddin, running their Lok Sabha election campaigns from hospitals while in judicial custody, the Patna high court on Friday directed the Bihar government to transfer them to prison.

Observing that jails are the right place for criminals who should have no role in politics, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Ravi S Dhavan and Justice Shashank Kumar Singh directed the state government to submit an action taken report (ATR) on Monday.

The court was hearing a PIL by Janata Dal (U) candidate from Siwan, Om Prakash Yadav, who said in his petition that his RJD rival was currently 'resting in Siwan Sadar Hospital in judicial custody and even venturing out at times to run a full-fledged election campaign'.

At least officially, Shahabuddin is in jail in connection with the suspected abduction and murder of CPI-ML (Liberation) activist Munna Chaudhary.

Besides Shahabuddin, many other accused, including Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) general secretary Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, MLA and independent candidate from Bettiah Rajan Tiwari and outlawed Ranvir Sena chief Brahmeshwar Singh, are in the fray in Bihar.

Another PIL filed by NGO 'Peoples Watch' two days ago had challenged the candidature of all those currently in jails and whose voting rights are suspended under the People's Representation Act, 1951.

The same bench had issued notices to the Election Commission, Union and state governments on the PIL.

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