Bihar shelter home rapes: SC orders transfer of accused to high security jail

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SC asked the Bihar govt why former minister Manju Verma had not been arrested till now, calling the entire issue 'highly suspicious'.

The top court also sought a list of the CBI officers investigating the case from September 20 till date, to be given by October 31. (Photo: PTI)
The top court also sought a list of the CBI officers investigating the case from September 20 till date, to be given by October 31. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the transfer of Brajesh Thakur, the main accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case to a high security jail in Punjab's Patiala.

Thakur had been staying in Bihar's Badarpur jail but last week the SC said that it would not be appropriate to keep him in a Bihar jail calling him a "very influential man". The court had issued a notice to Thakur asking him to explain why he should not be transferred to a prison outside the state.

The apex court on Tuesday also questioned the Bihar government as to why former minister Manju Verma had not been arrested till date, calling the entire issue "highly suspicious".

“Just because she (Manju Verma) happens to be cabinet minister doesn’t make her above the law. The whole thing is highly suspicious. Why has she not been arrested? It’s too much. Nobody is bothered about the law", a bench of Justices M B Lokur, S A Nazeer and Deepak Gupta said.

Manju Verma, the former Bihar social welfare minister had stepped down from her position after her husband, Chandrashekhar Verma, was linked to Brajesh Thakur in the shelter home sex scandal case.

About 50 cartridges had been seized during a raid conducted at Verma's Patna and Begusarai residences by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the Muzaffarpur case.

Chandrashekhar Verma, who had been absconding, on Monday, surrendered before a sub-divisional court in Manjhaul in Begusarai district. He was remanded in judicial custody till November 6. He has been booked in an Arms Act case registered in connection with the recovery of ammunition from his residence.

The top court also sought a list of the CBI officers investigating the case from September 20 till date, to be given by October 31.

The court expressed shock when informed by advocates that girls in the Muzaffarpur shelter home were drugged.

"These girls are being injected with drugs so that they can be raped. What is this going on?" the court asked.

Over 30 girls had allegedly been raped at a shelter home run by Brajesh Thakur, the chief of a state-funded NGO. The incident was first brought to light in an audit report submitted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences to the state's social welfare department.

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