The Supreme Court on Monday lashed out at the Bihar government for not arresting former minister Manju Verma in Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case. The top court summoned the state’s Director General of Police to personally before it on 27 November if Verma wasn’t arrested immediately under the Arms Act. The court also asked the Bihar Chief Secretary to appear in the next hearing to personally explain the mismanagement in the case.
Angry Supreme Court observed, “Fantastic..an ex-cabinet minister goes in hiding and the police can’t trace her.” justice Madan B Lokur was reacting to a case related to the discovery of ammunition from her house during a CBI raid.
He said, “How could it happen that cabinet minister is absconding and nobody knows where she is? You realise the seriousness of the issue that cabinet minister is not traceable. It’s too much.”
While hearing the matter last month, the apex court had said that just because Verma happened to be a cabinet minister ‘doesn’t make her above the law.’ “The whole thing is highly suspicious. Why has she not been arrested? It’s too much. Nobody is bothered about the law,” a bench of Justice MB Lokur, SA Nazeer and Deepak Gupta was quoted by news agency ANI.
The case relates to the report of rampant sexual exploitation of girls at the shelter home, run by Thakur, a journalist-turned-fixer. The case had first come to light after an audit report by Tata Institute of Social Sciences had expressed deep concerns over the sexual exploitation and torture of the girls staying in the shelter home.
The court had earlier ordered the immediate transfer of Thakur from Bihar jail to a jail in Patiala. In August, police had filed an FIR against Verma’s husband under the Arms Act after a CBI team had recovered 50 cartridges from his Begusarai home, owned by her in-laws.