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Muzaffarpur scandal: Nitish blames 'system flaw'; Patna HC to monitor CBI probe

Press Trust of India  |  Patna 

Rejecting Opposition's demand to sack his social welfare over the Muzaffarpur shelter home scandal, embattled Chief Kumar today blamed "system flaw" for such cases and said she would be asked "to go" only if there is evidence against her, even as the agreed to monitor a CBI probe into the matter for its speedy trial.

The alleged rape of 34 inmates at the government-funded shelter home for girls also resonated in Parliament where two MPs protested in demanding justice for the victims and claimed evidence of the crime was destroyed before the handed over the case to the CBI.

Putting the blame on the long-standing "flaw in the system" of such shelter homes being run by NGOs in the entire country, Kumar announced his decision to phase out this practice in and said the would take over administration of all such centres over a period of time.

He said Verma can be asked "to go" only if she is found to have facilitated any wrongdoing and not because of some "noises" -- a stance that found support from his

Kumar also took potshots at his former party colleague and other opposition leaders for attending a protest in the national capital on the issue, organised by RJD Tejashwi Yadav, saying it was amusing to see people having spoken unkindly of women holding candle lights at an event organised by a person facing corruption charges.

Soon after Kumar replied some during his weekly public interaction programme "Lok Samvad" while referring specific questions to officials on why the main accused Brajesh Kumar was never taken into police custody, his deputy chief also asserted there is no need for resignation of Verma or any other minister "just because some people are giving statements".

Verma is in the eye of storm ever since name of her husband has cropped up in the Muzaffarpur sex scandal, in which medical reports have confirmed rape of 34 out of a total of 42 inmates of the shelter home. The opposition parties have been gunning for the minister's

"Investigations are on. If it is found that she had in any way facilitated any wrongdoing, she may have to go, but (not) because people are making noises," Kumar said.

Hitting back at opposition leaders, Kumar said where were these people, who have suddenly grown so sensitive, when the first FIR was lodged on May 31 and wjy have they woken up to the scandal in the last few weeks.

Coming in support of Verma of JD(U), Modi said no minister needs to resign just because some people are making noises.

"They are voicing their personal opinion and that is not the party line," he said, referring to his party colleague C P Thakur reportedly favouring Verma's resignation. Modi also rejected the opposition demand for resignation of another minister, BJP's over this scandal.

Kumar dismissed speculation that a favouring Verma's resignation and letters written by to him and to the Centre hinted towards a strategy by his coalition partner to pin him down.

He launched a scathing attack on Rahul Gandhi, and others who participated in the protest, saying it showed corruption is no longer an issue for them.

At the nearly hour-long media interaction, the CM asked officials to take over when questions were posed as to why the main accused was never taken into police custody and was allowed to remain in a hospital and newspapers run by him continued to get huge government advertisements.

of Police K S Dwivedi said the trial court did not accept the plea for police remand of Brajesh Thakur, patron of the NGO that was running the shelter home, and he was sent to a hospital by a court order on the basis of a medical report.

sources said a three-member team has now been constituted for medical examination of Thakur, who has been in hospital for close to 40 days.

(Social Welfare) said it was not possible to make public the TISS report since the law prohibits anything that might disclose the victims' identity.

(Information and Public Relations Department) said Thakur's newspapers were getting government advertisements since late 80s but it was stopped this June after the scandal came to light.

In Lok Sabha, protesting and RJD's trooped into the well. They were supported by leader Mallikarjun Kharge, besides others.

However, asked them to raise the issue during the Zero Hour and continued with the proceedings of the Question Hour.

While political parties continued indulging in a slugfest, the Patna High Court accepted the Bihar government's request to take up monitoring of the CBI investigation and ensure its speedy trial by appointing a

told reporters that the court accepted both requests of the

A bench comprising and Justice also directed the CBI to submit details regarding investigations so far and posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, August 06 2018. 20:15 IST