The Allahabad High Court today decided to monitor the investigation into the alleged sexual and physical abuse of girls at the Deoria shelter home in UP and said it appeared that its owners enjoyed patronage of some politician.
The bench of Chief Justice DB Bhosale and Justice Yashwant Varma passed the order while taking suo motu cognizance of media reports on the suspected sexual abuse. The Uttar Pradesh government had announced on Tuesday that it will recommend a CBI inquiry in the case.
"It seems the owners had got patronage of some politician or a VIP," the court said while referring to the operation of the shelter even though it was blacklisted.
The court said girls continued to be shifted to the shelter home and no action was being taken against its managers even though the district administration had received complaints.
UP's Additional Advocate General Neeraj Tripathi told the court that the Uttar Pradesh government will transfer the case to the CBI as soon as it receives approval from the Centre.
The state government has written to Union Home Ministry to transfer the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation, the court was told.
The court fixed August 13 as the next date of hearing.
It directed CBI counsel Gyan Prakash and the state's additional advocate general to ensure that copies of the statements of all the girls at the shelter home are placed before it on that date.
It said a responsible officer investigating the case shall remain present in court on the next date.
The court asked the counsels to inform whether any CCTVs are installed in or around the shelter home.
It also wanted to know about the owners of the cars in which the minor girls used to leave the shelter home, according to reports in the media.
Neeraj Tripathi told the court that the Deoria district magistrate had been immediately transferred to ensure a fair investigation.
The shelter was raided on Sunday night after a girl fled from there and reached a police station.
The police then rescued 24 girls from there and said 18 others appeared to be missing.
One girl from the Deoria home was later found at an old age shelter run by the same organization in Gorakhpur.