“Yesterday, I read so many women have been raped in Pratapgarh. How will these things stop,” Justice Lokur asked, adding “When it is going to stop?”

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Friday expressed serious concern over recent cases of rape and sexual abuse of women at shelter homes in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and asked when these horrific incidents would stop.

The apex court’s observation came while hearing a matter relating to sexual abuse of children at orphanages.

“Tell us what is this happening?,” a bench of justices Madan B Lokur, S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta said while referring to the recent incident at Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh where 26 women have been reported to be missing from shelter homes, reports PTI.

“Yesterday, I read so many women have been raped in Pratapgarh. How will these things stop,” Justice Lokur asked, adding “When it is going to stop?”

Besides Pratapgarh, incidents of rape and sexual abuse of women and girls at shelter homes run by NGOs have also surfaced recently in Muzaffarpur in Bihar and Deoria in Uttar Pradesh.

Advocate Aparna Bhat, assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the matter, said that the Centre was supposed to come out with a report on list of child care institutions (CCIs) in the country as well as status of their social audit.

“We cannot do everything unless the government of India appears,” the bench observed while questioning as to why the counsel for the Centre has not appeared in the matter.

Later, advocates on behalf of the Centre, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Women and Child Development appeared before the court.

The amicus told the bench that the apex court in its last year verdict had asked the Centre to get social audit of all such CCIs conducted through the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

The NCPCR’s counsel said that a “rapid” social audit of CCIs and shelter homes was going on and it has already been done in around 3,000 such homes.

“What rapid? You (NCPCR) do not know what is going on? If something, like rape, happens in these 3,000 institutions, will you be responsible for it,” the bench asked.

The bench directed the MWCD to place before it the data they have received from the states including as to how the funds were being utilised, how performance audit was done and on MIS also.

It asked the ministry to give data of CCIs including the facilities provided to children, like health, education, nutrition, living there.

The court has posted the matter for hearing on August 21.

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