Cause and effect: A timeline of the murder case against Bihar CM Nitish Kumar
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar could face trouble soon if a petition filed against him in the Supreme Court throws up information damaging to him. The PIL is about a murder case in which Kumar was once made an accused but later exonerated. The petitioner has alleged that before he was exonerated, Kumar should have declared the case in his election affidavits.
The fact that he didn't makes him liable to be disqualified as a member of legislative council, or MLC, argues the petitioner - Delhi-based lawyer ML Sharma.
The case originally dates back to 1991 and Kumar was relieved of the charges in 2008 and again in 2009. Sharma says Kumar should have disclosed details of the case and the charges against him to the Election Commission while contesting Lok Sabha polls in 2004.
Kumar had declared case details in his affidavit filed with the EC for polls to the Bihar Legislative Council in 2012.
However, these details were missing from his 2004 affidavit which he had submitted before contesting Lok Sabha elections. The fresh petition filed in the SC argues that this amounted to concealing information, which the EC had declared an offence inviting disqualification in 2002. SC has now asked the EC to present its stand on the arguments made in the petition.
Here is a timeline of the case and its implications -
16 November 1991 – A man called Sitaram Singh was killed in a village under Pandarak police station area, during Lok Sabha elections. His brother Raja Ram Singh lodged FIR in which Kumar and four others were named accused. Lalu Yadav was the chief minister of Bihar then.
31 January 1993 – Police completed its probe in the case and submitted its report, apparently rejecting the charges against Kumar and another accused. Yadav was still the CM.
5 August 2008 – Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate of Barh in Bihar accepted the police's report and exonerated Kumar. Kumar himself had become the CM by then.
20 January 2009 – A protest petition was filed in the ACJM's court, challenging Kumar's exoneration.
22 April 2009 – The Patna High Court ordered stay on further proceedings in the case at the ACJM's court, following appeal against the latter's orders by one of the charge-sheeted accused.
31 August 2009 – ACJM took cognisance of the protest petition filed in January and ordered summons against Kumar.
8 September 2009 – High Court stayed order of cognizance against Kumar.
28 October 2009 - High Court also issued a show-cause to the ACJM to explain why the order of stay passed by the high court earlier was violated.
The case is still being heard at the Patna High Court.