SC reprimand for second time takes sheen off Nitish

This was the second reprimand by the apex court in the last few months when it came down heavily on the Nitish Kumar government while hearing a case related to Muzaffarpur shelter home. (PTI File Photo)

“Enough is enough. Children cannot be treated like this. You cannot let your officers to treat children this way. Spare the children,” said a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Thursday.

This was the second reprimand by the apex court in the last few months when it came down heavily on the Nitish Kumar government while hearing a case related to Muzaffarpur shelter home.

Several girls were allegedly sexually abused at the shelter home run by an NGO in Muzaffarpur. The matter came to light in May last year after Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) made its report on shelter homes public.

Earlier, in November last year, the Supreme Court had expressed its deep anguish and annoyance over the style of working of Nitish government when it remarked: “Fantastic. A former Cabinet minister is not traceable…”. The SC said this while expressing its shock over the Bihar Police’s failure to arrest the fugitive Manju Verma who had been evading arrest for more than a month.

Bihar cops had then failed to arrest Manju, who quit as Bihar Social Welfare Minister in August 2018 after the CBI probe into Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case found her husband Chandrashekhar Verma was in constant touch with the main accused Brajesh Thakur.

Taken To Task

Ever since he donned the mantle of Bihar Chief Minister in November 2005, Nitish has never faced such a situation where his government has been taken to task by the Supreme Court, that too twice within a short span of three months. The JD (U) strongman, who is never tired of boasting about how he “established the rule of law in a lawless State,” is likely to be in the line of Opposition fire in the coming days, given the SC strictures.

“We have been saying it from day one that the perpetrators of crime in shelter homes have been enjoying the patronage of ruling party leaders, including the Chief Minister,” said Leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Yadav. Soon after the SC reprimand, the RJD leader tweeted: “Big blow to CM Nitish Kumar. Why he didn’t allow Pocso Act on rapists unless SC asked? Will he be kind enough to tell why he was saving rapists & culprits who mass raped and killed 34 innocent girls.”

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SC reprimand for second time takes sheen off Nitish

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