Muzaffarpur case: Why delay in tracing whereabouts of ex-minister Manju Verma’s husband? SC asks Bihar government, CBI

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New Delhi | Updated: October 25, 2018 6:46:19 PM

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Bihar government and CBI to explain why there was a delay in tracing the whereabouts of former state minister Manju Verma's husband Chandrashekhar Verma who is wanted for alleged illegal possession of ammunition in large quantity.

supreme court, CBI, cbi news, latest news, important news, trending news, news today, news nowA bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur was told by advocate Aparna Bhat, assisting the court as amicus curiae in the Muzaffarpur case, that as per the CBI and Bihar government Chandrashekhar Verma was “absconding”, but he was seen at the official residence of his wife at Patna.

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Bihar government and CBI to explain why there was a delay in tracing the whereabouts of former state minister Manju Verma’s husband Chandrashekhar Verma who is wanted for alleged illegal possession of ammunition in large quantity.

Manju Verma had resigned as the Social Welfare Minister in the Bihar government in the wake of Muzaffarpur case, where several women at a shelter home were allegedly raped and sexually abused, after it came to light that her husband Chandrashekhar Verma had spoken to prime accused Brajesh Thakur several times between January and June this year.

A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur was told by advocate Aparna Bhat, assisting the court as amicus curiae in the Muzaffarpur case, that as per the CBI and Bihar government Chandrashekhar Verma was “absconding”, but he was seen at the official residence of his wife at Patna. She told the bench that both Bihar and CBI should be asked to file their status reports in this regard. “The amicus says that Chandrashekhar Verma is still not arrested and according to the CBI and Bihar, he is absconding.

The amicus says that as per her information, Chandrashekhar Verma has been seen in Patna at the official residence of his wife who is a former minister of Bihar,” the bench, which also comprised justices S A Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, said. “State of Bihar and the CBI shall file status report relating to the delay in tracing the whereabouts of Chandrashekhar Verma,” the bench said. Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Bihar government, told the court that the state would give a full report during the next hearing on October 30. On September 20, the court had said it had come on record that Chandrashekhar Verma and his wife were in “possession of illegal ammunition of a fairly large quantity” and it was not clear whether they were in possession of illegal arms as well.

The court had observed that the CBI, in its status report filed earlier, had noted that an FIR has been lodged against Chandrashekhar and Manju Verma. “The affairs of these two need to be looked into, particularly with regard to their procurement and possession of illegal ammunition and availability of illegal weapons, if any.

We request the local police in the state of Bihar to look into this aspect with some degree of seriousness,” the bench had said in its order. Over 30 girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused at the shelter home in Muzaffarpur. The alleged sexual exploitation of the girls was first highlighted in an audit report submitted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to the state’s social welfare department.

An FIR was lodged on May 31 against 11 people, including Brajesh Thakur, who was running the shelter home. The probe was later taken over by the CBI and so far 17 persons have been arrested.

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