Bihar minister Kartik Kumar, an RJD MLC who is facing allegations in connection with a 2014 kidnapping case, resigned late on Wednesday. His resignation has been accepted.
An arrest warrant has been pending against Kumar alias Kartikeya Singh in a 2014 kidnapping case in which 16 others, including former Mokama MLA Anant Singh, have also been named as accused. Singh has been asked to surrender in a Danapur court on August 16, the day he took the oath of office.
Earlier, Kumar was inducted to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Cabinet as the Law Minister. On Wednesday, however, his portfolio changed to the Sugarcane Industry ministry. Shamim Ahmed, who was the Sugarcane Industry minister, has now been made the state’s Law minister.
On Kumar’s induction into the Cabinet, BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand had said: “The Council of Ministers of Nitish Kumar government is presenting a very horrible picture. These rotten people cannot ensure the safety and security of the people of Bihar.”
“How come a person hid the fact that he is wanted in a kidnapping case and took oath as a law minister of Bihar? It is very shameful for Nitish Kumar to have succumbed to the pressure of RJD,” he added.
On his part, Kartikeya Singh said, “I have duly mentioned this case against me in my affidavit before becoming an MLC.”
Meanwhile, on August 12, the Danapur additional and district sessions court ordered the Mokama police to not arrest him until September 1.
The Bihta police had booked Singh under several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 363 (kidnapping), 364 (kidnapping with intent to murder), and 365 (Secret, unjustified kidnapping with intent to imprison). This came after Raju Singh, once a close aide of Anant Singh, was allegedly kidnapped over a dispute about financial transactions in 2014 near Patna. He was later found by the police.
Three ministers, who worked under Nitish Kumar, had to step down over allegations of corruption among others. While the SC/ST minister Jitan Ram Manjhi had to quit within two days of taking oath after allegations of an education scam, then BJP leader and cooperative minister Ramadhar Singh had to resign after he was found absconding in an old case in 2011.
In 2020, JD(U) leader and education minister Mewalal Choudhary had to resign following allegations of corruption during his tenure as the vice-chancellor of an agricultural university.
The Mokama police confirmed the pending warrant against Singh, a resident of Mokama, and said there has been a lapse on part of the investigating officer in the case. “It is a lapse on part of a police officer at the police station not to execute the arrest warrant. We are initiating action against him,” said Gajendra Singh, Mokama police station in charge.
A Danapur court on July 14 this year had issued an arrest warrant against Singh and directed the Mokama police to arrest him. A copy of the order had been also sent to the senior superintendent of police of Patna. The Bihta police have already filed a charge sheet in the case.
On February 19, Court Number 5 of the first class judicial magistrate had declared him an absconder and issued the arrest warrant. The Patna High Court had dismissed his anticipatory bail plea in 2017.