The CBI has informed the Supreme Court that its probe into allegations of sexual and physical exploitation in 17 shelter homes in Bihar has been completed, except in two cases where further investigation is on, and they have recommended departmental action against “erring” public servants including district magistrates in several matters.
The CBI has said that evidence of “gross negligence” was found on part of public servants and NGOs running the shelter homes in several cases, and reports have been sent to Bihar government for taking departmental action against erring government officials and also for cancellation of registration of NGOs and blacklisting them and their office bearers.
In an application filed in the apex court, the CBI has said that further probe regarding Muzaffarpur shelter home and a short stay home at Motihari is going on and final reports have been filed before the competent courts in 13 cases.
The top court had in November 2018 asked the CBI to probe into the allegations of physical and sexual abuse in remaining 16 shelter homes in Bihar which were flagged in a report of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
The issue had cropped up before the apex court which was hearing the Muzaffarpur shelter home case where several girls were sexually abused.
Later, 19 people were convicted by a trial court in connection with the Muzaffarpur shelter home case.
In its fresh application filed in the top court, the CBI has said that in pursuance to the November 2018 order it had taken over probe of remaining 16 shelter home matters and lodged 12 regular cases and four preliminary enquiries spread over 10 different districts of Bihar, including Patna, Gaya and Bhagalpur.
“Enquiry of all four preliminary enquiries has also been completed and no evidence proving commission of criminal offences could be gathered in the said preliminary enquiries,” it said.
“However, evidence of gross negligence was found on part of public servants and NGOs running the shelter homes for which CBI reports have been sent to the Government of Bihar for taking departmental actions against erring government officials and cancellation of registration of NGOs and blacklisting them and their office bearers for future social/governmental contracts,” the application said.
It said the CBI reports and notes have been forwarded to chief secretary of Bihar for taking action against erring public servants, including several district magistrates, in these cases.
The CBI has said that enquiries have been completed in these 17 shelter home cases, except the ongoing further probe in two matters.
In its application, the probe agency has sought the apex court’s permission for utilizing services of team members of the investigating team of Bihar’s shelter home cases for other official works, saying the “assigned task has been completed except further investigation in Muzaffarpur shelter home case and short stay home, Motihari case”.
The top court, in its October 2018 order, had said that CBI’s investigating team of the Muzaffarpur shelter home case should not be changed without its permission.
In 2018, the apex court had said that report of TISS, which was also given to the Bihar government, had raised grave concern about 17 shelter homes in the state and the CBI must look into all of them.