New Delhi, Nov 12 (IANS) “Shocked” that the state police could not trace former Bihar Minister Manju Verma, one of the accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the state Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police to appear before it on November 27.
The court summoned the DGP to explain the delay in Verma’s arrest, who has been “untraceable” for over a month, according to the police. However, if Verma is arrested, the DGP will not have to appear before the court.
The court also summoned the Bihar Chief Secretary over the mismanagement of shelter homes in the state.
The orders came after the Bihar Police told a bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta on Monday that Verma was not traceable.
“Fantastic! cabinet minister on the run, fantastic! How could it happen that cabinet minister is absconding and nobody knows where she is. You realise the seriousness of the issue that cabinet minister is not traceable? It’s too much,” Justice Madan B. Lokur observed.
“We are quite shocked that a 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. Director General of Police to appear before us,” the court said as it posted the matter for November 27.
The court had rejected Verma’s bail plea on October 9 and has been asking the police to arrest her ever since.
During a hearing on October 31, the court had observed: “Why have you not arrested her…because she was a cabinet minister? Nobody could trace her. Why was she not arrested?”
The court has already shifted the main accused, Brijesh Thakur, to Patiala prison from Bihar’s Bhagalpur jail.
As many as 34 of the 41 minors housed in the women shelter home in Muzaffarpur were confirmed to have been raped. The girls were injected with drugs and were incarcerated in a four-storey building without windows.