Referring to ex-minister Manju Verma, Supreme Court said "is she above the law?"
The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the Bihar government for going slow on the Muzzafarpur shelter home case investigations. The top court asked the state government why a former minister, whose close links with the sexual abuse case, revealed during investigations, has not yet been arrested. The court has asked for the names of CBI officers, who have been probing since September 20, when the investigative agency was asked to take up the case.
Referring to Manju Verma, a former minister in the Nitish Kumar government, the top court said, "Just because she was a cabinet minister doesn't put 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."
The Supreme Court also directed that the prime accused, Brajesh Thakur, be shifted out of Bihar to the high security jail at Patiala in Punjab. On October 25, the top court had observed that Thakur "is a very influential person and obstructing the ongoing probe…he should be shifted to a jail outside Bihar" for a fair trial.
Commenting on the status report submitted by the CBI earlier, the court said, the "details are terrible and scary…what is the Bihar government doing about it?"
Yesterday, the former minister's husband, Chandrasekhar Verma surrendered in connection with the sexual abuse case. Mr Verma, who was absconding for over a month, surrendered after the Patna High Court repeatedly rejected his anticipatory bail petitions. Mr Verma had allegedly visited the shelter home several times when the girls were sexually abused.
At least 34 young girls were sexually abused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home. The sexual exploitation of the girls was first highlighted in an audit report submitted by the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) to the state's social welfare department in April. The first case was filed on May 31 against 11 people, including Brajesh Thakur, the owner of the non-profit group, which ran the government-funded shelter home for destitute girls.