| (Left) Chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi meets Governor DY Patil at Raj Bhavan on Friday night. (Above) Vinay Bihari |
Chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi had to step down from Nitish Kumar’s cabinet for alleged involvement in a scam years ago. Now, history is repeating itself.
A non-bailable warrant of arrest is pending against Vinay Bihari — minister for art, culture and youth affairs in the Manjhi-led JD(U) government — in connection with a case under immoral act. A Bhojpur court recently issued an order for attachment of Bihari’s property.
Bihari, an independent legislator from Lauriya in West Champaran district, was sworn in as the minister on May 20, after Nitish Kumar resigned following the JD(U)’s poor performance in Lok Sabha elections from the state.
Bihari had several Bhojpuri albums to his credit before he entered politics.
One Prabhat Kumar had lodged a case on March 28, 2008, against 13 people, including Bihari. In his complaint, Prabhat alleged that an album depicting an immoral and obscene video was released, damaging people’s perception of the language and causing hurt to the sentiments of Bhojpuri-speaking people of the region. Bihari had composed the songs in Bhojpuri for T-Series, which subsequently released the album.
Prabhat is associated with a non-government organisation, Bhojpuria Sena, fighting for the cause of Bhojpuri language. The court took cognisance of the complaint and issued a bailable warrant against the accused on December 18, 2011.
Later, on June 29, 2012, the court issued a non-bailable warrant of arrest against all the 13 accused in the case. When none of the accused turned up in court, sub-divisional judicial magistrate Kishori Lal, on December 13, 2013, issued an order for attachment of property of the accused.
A practising lawyer of Ara court, Dalbhanjan Singh, said the police sent reminders but no action was taken. Dalbhanjan, who appeared on behalf of Prabhat, said he would draw the chief judicial magistrate’s attention towards the callous attitude of the police, which failed to execute the court order.
Prabhat said Bihari, though a minister now, was an absconder in the eyes of the law.
The minister, when contacted, feigned ignorance about the court’s property attachment order pending against him. “I am yet to receive summons from the court. It’s a fact that some complaints were made against music company T-Series after a Bhojpuri album was released about a decade ago,” he told The Telegraph over phone.
He alleged that the intention behind the case against him was to malign his image.
“The case was lodged with mala fide intentions. Only one or two songs in the album are vulgar,” he said, adding that he would not apply for bail.
Returning to the earlier case against Manjhi, Nitish had reinducted him in 2008 after the latter was absolved of charges in the much-publicised BEd scam. It lies to be seen now if Bihari would follow in Manjhi’s footsteps and abide by the order of the court of the land.