November 28, 2018:
On Wednesday, Supreme Court directed a CBI probe against all erring shelter homes and their owners in Bihar for allegedly subjecting children to torture & sexual abuse.
Apex Court also directed the Bihar Govt. to provide all the logistical support & assistance to the CBI team.
It added that all the allegations made by TISS in its social audit report will be probed by the CBI.
Bihar has 17 such homes and the CBI is already probing the Muzaffarpur shelter home case. The CBI told the court that the charge sheet in Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case will be filed by Dec 7.
CBI had previously informed SC that it could not take a call on taking over the probe in shelter home cases as the Top Court had restrained the agency’s acting director to take any policy decisions.
But the apex court told the CBI counsel that conducting an investigation had nothing to do with policy matters, and asked him to call the director and then inform it about the same.
However, the Bihar Govt. opposed the CBI probe in the case, and pleaded with the SC to grant it one last opportunity to prove that it is committed to catch the culprits. It had sought 10 days time to file a status report.
On Tuesday, Bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur said that the state was “very soft” & “very selective” in registering FIRs against the perpetrators and asked the Bihar Govt. whether these children were not the citizens of this country.
Apex Court also asked the counsel appearing for the Bihar Govt. as to why FIRs have not been lodged under Section 377 (unnatural offences) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) despite there being allegations that children were sodomized at the shelter homes.
“What are you doing? This is very shameful. You may have filed a detailed affidavit (in the court) but if a child is sodomized, you cannot say that it is nothing. How can you do this? This is inhuman,” the bench, also comprising Justice S A Nazeer & Justice Deepak Gupta, told the state’s counsel.