A court here Tuesday rejected the bail plea of former Bihar minister Manju Verma, who is in jail in an Arms Act case lodged following the recovery of a huge quantity of ammunition from her residence during a CBI raid in connection with the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal. Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Prabhat Trivedi turned down Verma’s bail plea, filed through her counsel Satya Narayan Mahto.
Verma has been in jail since November 20 when she surrendered before the court in Majhaul sub-division of the district in connection with the case lodged at the Cheria Bariarpur police station in August. She surrendered more than a week after the Supreme Court had asked the state’s director general of police to appear in person in case of failure to secure her arrest by November 27.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had raided her premises in connection with the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal and both Verma, formerly the state social welfare minister, and her husband Chandrashekhar Verma were named as accused in the FIR lodged by the Cheria Bariarpur police. Verma had resigned from her post following media reports, which suggested close links between her husband and Brajesh Thakur, the prime accused in the scandal which came to light after sexual abuse of inmates was cited in the report of a social audit conducted by the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
Last week, appearing before the court, Verma — who is the Cheria Bariarpur MLA — had alleged that she was being “harassed” on account of being a woman and belonging to the Kushwaha caste, which was a weaker section of the society.
She was suspended from the ruling Janata Dal (United), headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, a month ago. Her husband had expressed dismay over the couple’s name being “dragged into the shelter home scandal” and stressed that “even the CBI has not named us as accused”.