As one of the 31 new ministers inducted into the new cabinet on Tuesday, Bihar’s new law minister Kartikeya Singh of the RJD allegedly skipped a court hearing in an abduction case to take his oath of office. This left Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to face criticism from the estranged ally BJP and the rest of the opposition throughout the morning.
Although the re-organised coalition of the JD(U), RJD, Congress, and other parties claimed the CM was not aware of the legal snafu involving Kartik, it did nothing to fend off BJP. Sushil Kumar Modi, a Rajya Sabha MP and a former deputy to Nitish said, “If it was a mistake, either suspend him (Kartik) or confess that you are under pressure from RJD president Lalu Prasad and cannot do anything.”
HAM (S), a member of the mahagathbandhan, appeared to acknowledge that putting Kartik in the cabinet might not have been the best decision. Party leader Jitan Ram Manjhi stated, “I believe the administration must not be aware of the criminal allegations against the newly appointed law minister, or he wouldn’t have been sworn in.” Kartik is a defendant in a case concerning the kidnapping of a man named Rajeev Ranjan, also known as Raju Singh, that was reported to Patna’s Bihta police station in 2014. Anant Singh, a former don who is now a politician, and 16 other people are named in the FIR.
Kartik had submitted an anticipatory bail plea in the Patna High Court in December 2016 in anticipation of being arrested. On February 16 of the following year, the court rejected his bail request and ordered him to surrender before submitting a new petition in a lower court.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, a former union law minister and Patna Sahib MP, asked the high court to launch an investigation into the entire incident, calling it an “abuse of the process of law.” When did the high court give a temporary restraining order prohibiting coercive actions based on his second anticipatory bail plea?
The second anticipatory bail petition was submitted in the lower court earlier this month “under changed circumstances, as is authorised by law,” according to Kartik’s attorney Manish Kumar.
“A bailable warrant was issued in July of this year for the petitioner’s appearance before the lower court; however, the petitioner never received any notification or information regarding the appearance. Additionally, he has never thought of himself as above the law “added Manish.
Kartik asserted that the accusations made against him were untrue after meeting with Lalu Prasad and other new RJD ministers on Wednesday. They claimed that “there is a difference between making accusations and proving them.”