The Patna High Court accepted today the Bihar government's request to take up monitoring of CBI investigation into the case of sexual abuse of girls at a state-funded shelter home in Muzaffarpur and ensure its speedy trial by appointing a special judge.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Rajeev Ranjan Prasad also directed the CBI to submit details regarding investigations so far and posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks.
Advocate General Lalit Kishore, who appeared on behalf of the state government, told reporters both our requests, monitoring of the case and appointment of a special judge, have been accepted by the court.
Mr Kishore also informed the court that the state government has placed under suspension and taken departmental action against a number of officials of the Social Welfare Department, who have been found guilty of laxity in supervision of shelter homes within their areas of jurisdiction.
The court was hearing a bunch of petitions highlighting the poor condition of shelter homes and short stay homes in the state.
The issue of sexual exploitation was first highlighted in a social audit report submitted by Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai, to the state's Social Welfare Department in April.
An FIR was lodged on May 31 against 11 persons, including Brajesh Thakur, the owner of the NGO 'Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti' which ran the shelter home for destitute girls funded by the government.
Ten out of 11 accused persons, including Brajesh Thakur, have been arrested in the case so far and the state police had submitted its charge sheet against them before a before Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court in Muzaffarpur, even as the state government handed over the probe to the CBI the same day.
The medical examinations of 34 of the 42 inmates of shelter home in Muzaffarpur have so far confirmed that they were sexually exploited.