Patna: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) submitted a progress report on the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal case to the Patna High Court today in a sealed cover. CBI counsel Sanjay Kumar submitted the report on the status of the progress of the case and transfer of CBI’s SP-rank officer, who was part of the probe team in the case.
The investigating agency submitted the report before a bench comprising Chief Justice Mukesh R Shah and Justice Ravi Ranjan in compliance of its order passed on the previous hearing on two counts. Kumar, along with deputy inspector general CBI, Patna, who was also present in the court, submitting the report said that it comprised two aspects — the progress report of the investigation and transfer of its SP J P Mishra. The bench posted the hearing of the case for tomorrow.
On August 23, the bench had pulled up the CBI for its failure to submit a progress report in the investigation into the case. The court asked the central probe agency to explain as to why Mishra, who was the investigating officer in the case, was transferred. Mishra, was shifted from the Special Crime Branch and attached to the office of the DIG at Patna vide an order passed by the CBI headquarters on August 21. Opposition parties in Bihar have criticised the reshuffle, alleging that it would adversely affect the probe.
The Patna High Court was monitoring the probe into the sordid episode at the government-funded short stay home for girls at Muzaffarpur on the request of the Bihar government. Meanwhile, the court also expressed displeasure over leak of details of the investigation and asked the media to refrain from publishing the same as it could be detrimental to the probe. The sexual assault of 34 girls over a period of time in the government-funded Muzaffarpur shelter home came to light after a social audit was conducted by the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
An FIR was subsequently registered by the Bihar social welfare department and 10 persons, including prime accused Brajesh Thakur whose NGO ran the shelter home, were arrested. However, following a huge outcry, the Nitish Kumar government handed over the probe to the CBI a month ago which was followed by the resignation of social welfare minister Manju Verma a few days later. The court had on August 6 directed the SP, CBI, to submit a report with regard to the progress of the investigation. In an earlier hearing on the matter, the state government had requested the high court to monitor the CBI probe and consider appointing a special judge for speedy trial. Both the requests were accepted by the court.