- Centre got pulled up for transferring CBI officer supervising the case
- CBI was asked to inform whether its transfer panel was aware of "embargo"
- CBI probing Muzaffarpur child abuse scandal involving influential people
The condition of children in Bihar's state-run shelter homes has infuriated the Supreme Court, which today demanded the state fly in the concerned people by 2 pm to answer some "uncomfortable questions". If the state government failed to do so, the court - which was monitoring the case since the Muzaffarpur child abuse scandal was detected last year - said it would bring in its senior most bureaucrat, the Chief Secretary.
"Enough is enough. The way you treated unfortunate children, you can't let these things happen," said Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. "We need answers. Delhi to Patna is only two hours. We can bring the Chief Secretary here. But at 2 pm, you will have to answer".
The Chief Justice, who stepped into the three-judge bench after Justice Madan Lokur retired, had a string of questions. "We want to know how many shelter homes are there in Bihar? How many inmates live there? How much funding has been received? What is the condition of the inmates."
As the state's advocate fumbled and asked for more time, the court grew stern.
The Centre got pulled up for transferring the CBI joint director AK Sharma, who has been supervising the case. Without mincing words, the Chief Justice said, "How can he be transferred by the Centre when the Supreme Court said he must not be shifted?"
The agency was asked to inform the court that whether the panel, which transfers officers, was aware of the "embargo" and was ordered to do so in writing - by 2 pm.
During an earlier hearing in the Muzaffarpur shelter home sexual assault, the CBI -- which is investigating the massive sex scandal that allegedly involves influential people -- told the court the abuse young girls faced in government-run shelter homes.
They were forced to dance to vulgar songs, sedated and raped, the the agency said in a 73-page chargesheet filed against Brajesh Thakur, the main accused who ran the Muzaffarpur shelter home.
Brajesh Thakur and 20 others, including the staff of the shelter home, have been charged with serious crimes under the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Act or POCSO Act.
The Supreme Court had described Thakur as "a very influential man" and recommended shifting him to a jail outside the state to prevent any "obstruction to the ongoing probe."
The CBI has registered two more cases on alleged abuse of inmates in shelter homes in Bihar. The cases are linked to shelter homes in Munger.