The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the Bihar Police for its failure to arrest former state minister Manju Verma in a case related to the recovery of ammunition from her home during a CBI raid in connection with the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case.
Earlier in September, an FIR was registered against the former minister and her husband in August under Arms Act, 1959, following the recovery of 50 cartridges from her in-law’s house at Begusarai district during a CBI raid in connection with the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal.
Lashing out at the police, the court asked if they were aware of the seriousness of the issue that the cabinet minister was not traceable.
“Fantastic! cabinet minister (Manju Verma) on the run, fantastic. How could it happen that the former cabinet minister is absconding and nobody knows where she is. You realise the seriousness of the issue that the cabinet minister is not traceable. It’s too much,” observes Justice Madan B Lokur.
“We are quite shocked that former cabinet minister cannot be traced by the police for over a month. We would like the police to tell us that how such an important person is not traceable,” the court said.
The apex court further ordered the Director General of Police to appear before it and also posted the matter for November 27 for further hearing.
Earlier on October 31, the government had told the court that the minister was missing.
Expressing displeasure over the statement, the apex court said, “all is not well in Bihar”.
A day earlier, the Supreme Court had lashed out at the government and the police saying, “Just because she (Former Bihar minister Manju Verma) happens to be 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”.
Social welfare minister Manju Verma had to resign after it became known that her husband was in close touch with the main accused Brijesh Thakur.
At the shelter home in Muzaffarpur, 34 girls – aged seven to fourteen – were allegedly drugged, raped, forced to sleep naked and scalded with boiling water. Some of the girls were also forced to undergo an abortion.
The case came to light when the Bihar Social Welfare Department filed an FIR based on a social audit of the shelter home conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.