The Supreme Court on Thursday took suo motu cognizance in the Muzaffarpur shelter home case.
The Apex Court division bench, headed by Justice Madan Bhimrao Lokur and also comprising Justice Deepak Gupta, issued notice to the Bihar Government and the Centre seeking a detailed reply from them in connection with the same.
Meanwhile, the Left Parties and groups in Bihar called for a state-wide bandh in Patna earlier today against the Muzaffarpur shelter home scandal. The protest in the city was also supported by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) members.
According to media reports, the protesters blocked railway tracks and several roads around the vicinity of the city.
On July 24, 11 employees of a child shelter home in Muzaffarpur were arrested for allegedly sexually harassing the inmates. After receiving information, the police raided the vicinity and rescued 44 girls.
On a related note, the police on Wednesday raided another shelter home run by Brijesh Thakur after a case was registered against him over the disappearance of 11 girls from the safe haven.
Thakur is the prime accused in Muzaffarpur’s shelter home case, where more than 30 minor girls were sexually assaulted over a period of time.
The CBI had taken over the investigation from Muzaffarpur’s Mahila Police Station, where the case was registered on May 31, under Section 120(B) (criminal conspiracy), 376 (outraging the modesty of a woman), 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 4, 6, 8, 10,12 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
Earlier, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had directed the state officials to conduct a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry in the matter.
The alleged sexual exploitation of the girls was uncovered more than a month ago by a Mumbai-based social science institute. They had submitted its report in April and the Bihar social welfare department approved another project to Thakur on May 31 for beggars’ shelter in Patna.