Two separate courts yesterday rejected the anticipatory bail petitions of Bihar's former social welfare minister Manju Verma and her husband Chandrashekhar Verma in connection with the recovery of cartridges from her in-laws' residence during a recent CBI raid as part of the probe into the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal.
Former minister Manju Verma's prayer was turned down by the court of district judge Diwan Abdul Aziz Khan, while that of her husband was dismissed by Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADJ) (V) Raj Kishore Rai.
Advocates appearing for the couple submitted before the courts that they live in Patna and they rarely visit the house at Arjun Tola in Begusarai.
They said the house is a joint family property and they don't know how cartridges were found from there.
The prosecution opposed the pleas, saying that the couple used to frequently visit the village and they are lying and hence their pleas for anticipatory bail be rejected.
The CBI had on August 17 raided nearly 12 places in four districts of Bihar, including residences of Manju Verma in Patna and her in-laws' place in Begusarai in connection with the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal.
The CBI had registered the FIR on August 18 against Manju Verma and her husband Chandrashekhar Verma for the recovery of 50 live cartridges from her in-laws' house at Arjun Tola village.
The CBI's Deputy Superintendent of Police rank official had prepared the seizure list of cartridges and handed over the case to the local police where an FIR was registered against them under the Arms Act.
Manju Verma had resigned as social welfare minister following a disclosure that her husband Chandrashekhar Verma had spoken to the prime accused in the scandal, Brajesh Thakur, 17 times between January and June this year.
The shelter home scandal came to light two months ago when an FIR was lodged by the social welfare department following a social audit report submitted by the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences which mentioned sexual abuse of girls lodged at the Muzaffarpur shelter home.