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Muzaffarpur: SC asks CBI why no action against Bihar ex-minister

October 25, 2018 15:57 IST

IMAGE: Former Bihar minister Manju Verma. Photograph: PTI Photo

The Supreme Court on Thursday termed as 'horrible' and 'scary' details placed before it about the investigation into the case of Muzaffarpur shelter home where several girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused.

A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur perused the status report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation and said 'what is this going on? This is horrible'.

The apex court also took note of the allegations referred by CBI against shelter home owner Brajesh Thakur and issued notice to him to explain why he should not be transferred to a jail outside the state.

 

The CBI in its report had alleged that Thakur is an influential person and a mobile phone was recovered from him inside the jail where he is currently lodged under judicial custody.

The bench also comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta noted that Thakur is an influential person.

The top court also asked Bihar and he CBI to explain the delay in tracing the whereabouts of ex-minister Manju Verma's husband Chandrashekhar Verma.

It had asked the Bihar Police to investigate the former minister and her husband in connection with the recovery of huge quantity of ammunition from them.

Verma had to resign as the minister of Social Welfare from the Bihar government in the wake of the Muzaffarpur shelter home sexual abuse case.

The bench also made it clear that the CBI team investigating the case should not be changed and posted the matter for hearing on October 30.

The apex court had on September 18 stayed a Patna high court order to set up a fresh CBI team to probe the case, saying such a move would not only be detrimental to the ongoing investigation but also to victims.

It had said that there was no reason now to change the existing investigating team, which was set up by the CBI director, and directed the investigation to continue under the same team which was set up on July 30.

Earlier, the bench had said that the investigation seems to be going in the right direction and had also asked the Income Tax Department to look into assets of the NGO which was running the shelter home and its owner Thakur.

The apex court had also noted that no allegations were made against the team probing the case with regard to the manner in which the investigation was being conducted.

Over 30 girls were allegedly raped at the shelter home.The alleged sexual exploitation of the girls was first highlighted in an audit report submitted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to the state's social welfare department.

In all, the sexual abuse of 34 of the 42 inmates was confirmed in their medical examination.

The TISS audit report had said that many girls at the shelter home had complained of sexual abuse.

A first information report was lodged against 11 people, including Thakur, on May 31. The probe was later taken over by the CBI.

A special investigation team was formed to probe the complaints. The NGO running the shelter home in Muzaffarpur was blacklisted and the girls were shifted to shelter homes in Patna and Madhubani.

Women staff members of the shelter home and Thakur were among those who were arrested by the police in connection with the case.

The apex court had earlier taken cognisance of the matter after it received a letter from one Ranvijay Kumar, who had expressed concern that the alleged victims were subjected to media interviews.

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