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Bihar Shelter Home Case: Police to Arrest Former Min’s Husband

The SC has directed the CBI to file in sealed cover its next status report on the probe in the case in four weeks.

Updated
India
3 min read
File photo of Manju Verma.
i

The Bihar police on Friday, 21 September, ordered the arrest Chandrashekhar Verma, husband of former Bihar minister Manju Verma, in connection with the Bihar shelter home case. The arrest is reportedly related to the cartridges found at her residence during a CBI raid.

Just a day earlier, on 20 September, the Supreme Court asked the Bihar police to investigate Verma and her husband in connection with the recovery of huge quantity of ammunition from them.

Verma had to resign as the minister of Social Welfare from the Bihar government in the wake of the Muzzafarpur shelter home sexual abuse case.

The CBI has frozen 20 bank accounts of the shelter home owner, Brajesh Thakur, the accused in Muzaffarpur shelter home case, ANI reported, quoting sources.

The apex court's order came after it perused the CBI status report in the case with the probe agency stating that “Chandrashekhar Verma and his wife have been in possession of illegal ammunition in large quantities”.

“We expect the local police to look into it,” a bench comprising Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.

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The bench said the investigation seems to be going in the right direction, and also asked the Income Tax Department to look into the assets of the NGO being run by Brajesh Thakur, who was in-charge of the shelter home.

The court also asked the state government to file an affidavit on shifting of eight girls from the shelter home.

It also directed the CBI to file in sealed cover its next status report on the probe in the case within four weeks.

The apex court had, on 18 September, stayed a Patna High Court order to set up a fresh CBI team to probe the case, saying such a move would not only be detrimental to the ongoing investigation, but also to the victims.

While staying the high court's order directing the CBI's special director to put in place a fresh team to probe the case, it said there was no reason now to change the existing investigating team which was set up the CBI Director.

The High Court, on 29 August, had ordered that a fresh team of investigators be constituted by the CBI’s special director in the case in which incidents of alleged rape and sexual assault of women inmates over a period of time had come to light in the NGO-run shelter home in Muzaffarpur.

The apex court had also noted that no allegations were made against the team probing the case with regard to the manner in which the investigation was being conducted.

It had directed that the investigation should continue under the same team which was set up by the CBI Director on 30 July.

The bench had also asked the CBI to place before it in a sealed cover the two status reports of probe in the case which were filed before the high court and listed the matter for further hearing on 20 September.

What Happened in Bihar’s Shelter Home?

Over 30 girls were allegedly raped at the shelter home run by Brajesh Thakur, the chief of the state-funded NGO. The alleged sexual exploitation of the girls was first highlighted in an audit report submitted by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to the state's social welfare department.

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In all, the sexual abuse of 34 of the 42 inmates was confirmed in their medical examination. The TISS audit report had revealed about girls being subjected to sexual abuse at the shelter home.

An FIR was lodged against 11 people, including Thakur, on 31 May. The probe was later taken over by the CBI.

A special investigation team was formed to probe the complaints. The NGO running the shelter home was blacklisted and the girls were shifted to shelter homes in Patna and Madhubani. Women staff members of the shelter home and Thakur were among those who were arrested by the police in connection with the case.

The apex court had earlier taken cognisance of the matter after it received a letter from one Ranvijay Kumar who had expressed concern that the alleged victims were subjected to media interviews.

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