Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has transferred out Kartikeya Singh as the Law Minister amidst a controversy surrounding the latter in a kidnapping case. Kartikeya Singh, aka Kartik Singh, has been given the low-profile sugarcane industries department and Shamim Ahmed now holds the law ministry.
मंत्री कार्तिक कुमार का विभाग बदला। कानून मंत्री के पद से हटाए गए कार्तिक। कार्तिक को गन्ना उद्योग विभाग दिया गया। शमीम अहमद विधि मंत्री बनाए गए। pic.twitter.com/B2wHmGt2bd
— News18 Bihar (@News18Bihar) August 31, 2022
Earlier this month, a warrant was issued to Singh in a case related to the alleged kidnapping of Patna-based builder Rajiv Ranjan Singh, alias Raju Singh, in 2014.
The warrant was issued in first week of August and Singh was ordered to surrender before the court or police till August 16, the day he took the oath as a cabinet minister in the Nitish Kumar government and was given the law ministry portfolio.
Reacting to the warrant, Singh said, “The allegations levelled against me are politically influenced and not proved yet. We will take action as per the law.”
Singh’s lawyers claimed that the minister’s name was not mentioned in the FIR and he did not receive any warrant or notice from the sub-divisional court till August 16.
“He is not a fugitive. He had filed anticipatory bail in the Patna High Court which asked him to go to the lower court and follow the direction,” said Madhusudan Sharma, the lawyer of Singh.
While CM Nitish Kumar denied knowledge of the arrest warrant, BJP leaders demanded his removal from the cabinet.
Sushil Kumar Modi, Rajya Sabha MP of the BJP said, “Nitish Kumar government should sack the law minister who is a fugitive person and the court has issued an arrest warrant against him. It is shocking that he, instead of surrendering in court, went to Raj Bhavan and took the oath of cabinet minister.”
Kartik Singh is a political strategist of RJD supremo Anant Singh. He has been associated with Anant Singh since early 2000s and played a crucial role in the 2005 Assembly election for Anant Singh. He is a teacher by profession and recently was elected as MLC on the ticket of RJD.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav had said that the court’s decision will be final, and his party will accept it.
“Kartikeya Singh’s lawyers have clarified that no case was registered against him. The entire controversy has been created by the BJP and certain media groups. The FIR was registered in the police station but his name was not there in it which has already been clarified,” Tejashwi said on August 18.
With inputs from News18