Muzaffarpur shelter home row: Ex-minister Manju Verma withdraws bail plea from SC
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, justice Kurian Joseph and justice SK Kaul allowed Verma’s counsel to withdraw the petition after he submitted that the former minister had already surrendered
Former Bihar minister Manju Verma, who had stepped down in the wake of the Muzaffarpur shelter home scandal, Thursday withdrew her bail plea from the Supreme Court saying she had already surrendered before a court.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, justice Kurian Joseph and justice SK Kaul allowed Verma’s counsel to withdraw the petition after he submitted that the former minister had already surrendered before a court in Begusarai and the pre-arrest bail plea had become infructuous. On November 22, Verma was remanded to one-day police custody by chief judicial magistrate, Majhaul sub-division, Prabhat Trivedi.
She was evading arrest in an Arms Act case lodged in the course of investigations in the scandal. The top court had on November 12 summoned the Bihar director general of police (DGP) to explain why the state had failed to trace the whereabouts of Verma and had expressed “shock” over the state police’s inability to arrest her. The bench had made it clear in the previous hearing that that if Verma was arrested in the meanwhile, the DGP need not appear before it.
Verma had resigned as the social welfare minister in the Bihar government following the Muzaffarpur case, where several women inmates of a shelter home were allegedly raped and sexually abused, after it came to light that her husband Chandrashekhar Verma had spoken to Brajesh Thakur, the prime accused in the case, several times between January and June.
Over 30 girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused at the Muzaffarpur shelter home and the issue was first highlighted in an audit report submitted by the TISS to the social welfare department of the Bihar government.
An FIR was lodged on May 31 against 11 people, including Thakur, who was running the shelter home.
The probe was later taken over by the CBI and so far, 17 people have been arrested.