HC stays summon proceedings against Nitish

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish KumarJustice Sima Ali Khan ordered stay on the summons against Kumar issued by a Barh court on August 31 on a writ petition filed by Yogendra Prasad Yadav, already chargesheeted in the case, seeking stay on the proceedings of Barh court saying it was violative of an earlier order of the High Court in this connection.

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Ranjan Kumar had passed the order asking Kumar and and Dularchand Yadav to appear before him on September 9 following a petition filed by Ashok Singh, a relative of Congress activist Sitaram Singh who was killed in firing at a polling booth at Barh during the Lok Sabha election on November 16, 1991.

Patna High Court had, however, on April 22, 2009 stayed the proceedings in the court of the ACJM in connection with the case till pendency of hearing on Yadav's petition challenging the lower court's move to take cognisance of the charges.

Hearing Yadav's petition seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against the Barh Court for allegedly flouting the HC order, Khan referred the petition to the Chief Justice with a request to transfer the matter to the same bench which had earlier heard the case.

The CJM had said that a prima facie case for offence under sections 147(rioting), 148(rioting armed with deadly weapon), 149(unlawful assembly), 302(murder), 307(attempt to murder) of Indian Penal Code and 17 Arms Act was made out against Nitish Kumar and Dularchand Yadav.

He had said "there is allegation of committing murder of Sitaram Singh and firearm injury to four persons while they were in queue for casting their votes against the accused."
In the petition filed on January 20 before the Barh court, Ashok Singh, a resident of Dhibar village, had charged Kumar with firing from a gun leading to the death of Sitaram.
Sitaram and others had queued up before a polling booth for casting their ballots for the 1991 Lok Sabha by-poll in which Kumar was in fray on a ticket of the undivided Janata Dal, Singh said in his petition.

The Barh court's order had sparked off a political controversy with the chief opposition RJD and LJP demanding immediate sacking of the Chief Minister if he failed to resign on his own.

Kumar had yesterday ruled out his resignation and claimed no summons had been issued against him by the court in connection with the case in which he had already been exonerated.

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