Former Bihar Minister Manju Verma on Tuesday surrendered in a Begusarai court days after the Supreme Court rapped the Bihar government and the police for their failure to arrest her 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 had last week 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,” Justice Madan B Lokur said.
The apex court had 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.
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.
Verma’s husband Chandrasekhar Verma had earlier surrendered in the Begusarai District Court after a lower court and the Patna High Court repeatedly rejected his interim bail petitions.
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.
An FIR was subsequently registered by the Bihar social welfare department and 10 persons, including prime accused Brajesh Thakur whose NGO ran the shelter home, were arrested.