Warrant issued against newly inducted Bihar law minister

Published on Aug 18, 2022 12:53 AM IST

A controversy broke out in Bihar on Wednesday with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hitting out at newly-inducted law minister Kartikey Kumar alias Kartik Singh, alleging that he is wanted in a kidnapping case and that he did not surrender before court on the ordered date, but took the oath of office the same day

Patna, India- August.17, 2022: Bihar Law Minister Kartikeya Singh’s advocate Madhusudan Sharma addresses a press conference on the alleged kidnapping case, at Patna Central hall, in Patna, Bihar, India, on Wednesday, August 17, 2022. (Photo by Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times)
Patna, India- August.17, 2022: Bihar Law Minister Kartikeya Singh’s advocate Madhusudan Sharma addresses a press conference on the alleged kidnapping case, at Patna Central hall, in Patna, Bihar, India, on Wednesday, August 17, 2022. (Photo by Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times)

A controversy broke out in Bihar on Wednesday with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hitting out at newly-inducted law minister Kartikey Kumar alias Kartik Singh, alleging that he is wanted in a kidnapping case and that he did not surrender before court on the ordered date, but took the oath of office the same day.

According to a charge sheet filed by police on September 19, 2018, Singh has been booked under sections of 364 (kidnapping), 395 (Punishment for dacoity) 397 (causes grievous hurt to any person) 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 325 (Punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 120 b (conspiracy) and 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention). The case relates to the alleged kidnapping of Patna-based builder Rajiv Ranjan Singh, alias Raju Singh, in 2014.

HT has seen a copy of the charge sheet.

“The court of first-class judicial magistrate Ajay Kumar of Danapur civil court ordered the issue of bailable warrant against Kartikey on July 17, 2022 and warrant was issued by the court on July 19,” confirmed additional Public Prosecutor Rashmi Sinha, adding that the court had fixed a date on August 16 but no one had appeared.

Singh’s lawyer, Madhusudan Singh, said: “Bihar Law Minister Kartikey is not absconding in the eyes of the court. The court has stayed his arrest till September 1. The anticipatory bail petition was filed before the Patna district and session judge on August 4. The court, while hearing an anticipatory bail plea on August 8, transferred to the court of additional session judge-III at Danapur, who has, on August 12, stayed the arrest till 1 September 2022.”

On July 7, 2022, Singh had sought permission to withdraw an application to quash the FIR against him from the high court bench of Justice Satyavrat Verma.

On Wednesday, he alleged the opposition was trying to create and play up an issue. “All MLAs and ministers submit affidavits. There is nothing like that in it. I have protection from court till September 1,” he tweeted.

Amarjyoti Sharma, who is representing the complainant Raju Singh, said, “This is a 2014 matter about the kidnapping. On the basis of his statement recorded before a judicial magistrate, Kartikey’s name came up in this scandal. In 2017, he had filed a plea in the HC seeking anticipatory bail which was quashed by the court. Thereafter, he filed a quashing application which was withdrawn. He was not given any relief by the HC. As of now, the arrest warrant is pending. I can’t say anything about the legality of the oath.”

The Opposition BJP demanded Singh’s removal from the cabinet.

Former deputy CM and BJP MP, Sushil Modi, said: “If the court issued a warrant against him, he should have surrendered. But he has taken oath as Law Minister. I ask Nitish (chief minister Nitish Kumar), is he trying to bring back Lalu’s regime?”

Chief minister Kumar said he had no knowledge of the matter involving his minister. “I do not know. I have no information regarding this,” he said.

Union minister RK Singh said: “I am from Bihar and I am ashamed of what’s happening. Jungle Raj has begun. The law minister himself is an absconder, that too in a kidnapping case. He is the right hand of Anant Singh, who is a don. Does CM not know? Kartikeya Singh should be sacked.”

BJP’s OBC Morcha general secretary Nikhil Anand said, “The council of ministers of Nitish Kumar government is presenting a very horrible picture. These rotten people can’t ensure the safety and security of the people of Bihar. How can a person hide the fact that he is wanted in a kidnapping case and take oath as law minister of Bihar?”

RJD spokesperson Shakti Singh said that if the court finds the law minister guilty, strict action will be taken. “Law Minister Kartikey Singh has also given clarification in this matter,” he added.

Senior advocate in Patna High Court, Vinod Kanth, said that the minister had no choice but to approach the law. “When his anticipatory bail plea has been rejected, application of quashing of FIR has been rejected and the matter was also rejected from the Supreme Court, what else remains. It is also preposterous to believe that the CM and the Deputy CM were oblivious of this fact. Since a warrant of arrest has been issued, he has to submit himself,” he added.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Avinash, a senior correspondent, reports on crime, railways, defence and social sector, with specialisation in police, home department and other investigation agencies.

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