Special Correspondent

Minister caught on camera influencing official on behalf of a prisoner

PATNA: The opposition parties have sought to embarrass the Nitish Kumar government by seeking dismissal of the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ramashray Prasad Singh, charging that he had been publicly caught putting pressure on an official to favour a scam-tainted prisoner.

A TV channel on Monday shot him ringing up Home Secretary H.C. Shirohi and directing him to shift the prisoner to a hospital and allow him to meet visitors and provide him with all facilities stressing that he happened to be handicapped.

Mr. Singh on Tuesday ruled out the possibility of his resignation saying that he had done no wrong. He justified his action saying that he did so on humanitarian grounds and there was nothing illegal even in seeking extra facilities for the prisoner.

The Chief Minister too shot down the opposition demand for his dismissal defending his action. Mr. Kumar said that the Minister had not in anyway sought to influence the case.

Mr. Singh wanted the Home Secretary to transfer Bhanu Prakash, a computer analyst with the Bihar Public Service Commission, who was arrested last week by the Vigilance Department in connection with irregularities committed in the promotions recommended by the Commission for non-gazetted employees.

Prakash, said to be handicapped, is currently lodged in the Patna Central Jail.