Muzaffarpur shelter sexual assault case: SC directs Bihar govt to file action taken report

The order came after advocate Shoeb Alam, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that recently there was a newspaper report that the Patna High Court has taken cognisance in a matter where a juvenile girl ran from a shelter home where she was sexually exploited in the same modus operandi as happened in earlier cases

PTIUpdated: Wednesday, March 23, 2022, 12:53 PM IST
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Supreme Court of India | PTI

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday directed the Bihar government to file an action taken report in connection with Muzaffarpur shelter home sexual assault case.

A bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Krishna Murari noted that investigation is complete in the matter and 19 persons have been convicted.

The bench said: "The petitioner has sought a direction regarding probe into the shelter homes. CBI has also filed an application regarding repatriation of officers to the parent cadre. Investigation was done by CBI regarding one shelter home and then against others too. There have been 19 convictions in the main case. Now appeal is pending in the Delhi High Court.

"The state submits action has been taken against erring officers. "State is directed to file an action taken report. It is open to CBI to take assistance from counsels who appeared before trial court. List after two weeks. Without fail state to file action taken report".

The order came after advocate Shoeb Alam, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that recently there was a newspaper report that the Patna High Court has taken cognisance in a matter where a juvenile girl ran from a shelter home where she was sexually exploited in the same modus operandi as happened in earlier cases.

He said the CBI had recommended action to be taken against various officers and there is no clarity what action was taken as the problem has been going on.

"I am only asking for an action taken report. The government has not taken action," Alam said.

The counsel for the Bihar government said conviction has happened in one matter and now appeal is pending before the Delhi High Court.

Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan, appearing for the CBI, informed the court that investigation is complete in the matter and some officers were repatriated to parent cadre with permission of court.

"We are seeking the disbanding of the original investigation team... There is no investigation which is now pending. Trial has taken place in the main case and 19 persons have been convicted," Divan said.

The apex court had earlier granted three months to the CBI to complete the probe in the case, including suspected murders, and had directed it to widen the scope to investigate the "outsiders" involved in the crime.

It had also directed the CBI to probe the allegations of unnatural sexual assault under section 377 of the Indian Penal Code in the Muzaffarpur case. Several girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused at an NGO-run shelter home in Muzaffarpur and the issue had come to light following a report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).

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