Supreme Court to hear after 2 weeks a plea for proper probe in Muzaffarpur shelter home case

The Supreme Court Monday said it would hear after two weeks the fresh plea alleging that CBI tried to “shield the real perpetrators” in the Muzaffarpur shelter home case by not conducting proper probe on “crucial leads” which are available on record.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said an advance notice has been circulated in the matter by the other side seeking deferment of the hearing on the plea.

The fresh interim plea has been filed in a pending PIL of Nivedita Jha in which the apex court had directed CBI to probe the shelter home sexual assault cases.

The plea, filed through advocate Fauzia Shakil, has sought a direction to the CBI to carry out a thorough, proper and scientific probe into the case.

Several girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused at an NGO-run shelter home at Muzaffarpur in Bihar and the issue had come to light following a report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).

The probe into the case was transferred to CBI and the agency has chargesheeted 21 people, including prime accused Brajesh Thakur.

“It is evident from the statement of victims that a large scale prostitution racket was being run by prime accused Brajesh Thakur.

“From the perusal of the charge sheet, it is apparent that CBI is trying to shield the real perpetrators and has intentionally avoided to investigate the leads given by the victims about the outsiders and alleged friends of Thakur who were involved in the offence,” the plea said.

It also claimed that victims have stated in their statement to CBI that they were sent to hotels and were also raped by outsiders and friends of Thakur who visited the shelter home.

It further alleged that despite statement of the victims which disclosed grave and serious cognisable offences like rape, murder, gang rapes, prostitution racket and trafficking, the CBI has not chargesheeted the accused under the relevant penal provisions.

The plea sought identification of accused as per law on the basis of statements of victim and further probe to establish identity of Thakur’s “guests, uncles and friends”, who had visited the shelter home.

It also urged the court to direct CBI to carry out further investigation on the issues highlighted by the apex court in its September 20 last year order regarding Thakur’s connections and antecedents and also about culpability of Bihar social welfare department, if any, in the case.

“No effort was made by the CBI to look into the antecedents, connections and influence of Thakur,” the plea said.

“The charge sheet does not disclose that any investigation has been conducted to ascertain whether the social welfare department of the Bihar government was aware of criminal activities being carried out in the shelter home and that may have bene the reason for transfer of the victim girls”, it said.

The apex court had in February transferred the case from Bihar to a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court in Saket District Court complex in Delhi.

On November 28 last year, the top court had directed the CBI to conduct probe into allegations of physical and sexual abuse of inmates in 16 other shelter homes in Bihar which were flagged in the TISS report.