By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Bihar government to submit an action taken report in connection with the Muzzafarpur shelter home abuse case.
The state government, during the course of the hearing, sought a nod from the court for filing the report in a sealed cover. The Chief Justice of India N V Ramana however denied permission for the same. On the question as to why they wanted to file the sealed document, the counsel for the state informed the court that it had submitted the reports in a sealed cover before the top court since the matter is concerned with juvenile girls and moreover, it was in accordance with the court orders.
The court responded by saying that there is no need for the report to be submitted on a sealed cover stating that the names of the juvenile girls need not be mentioned in it. The matter would now be listed after two weeks.
The court has ordered for filing of the report in an application filed by Bihar-based journalist Nivedita Jha seeking action taken report pursuant to the recommendations of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the erring officers and blacklisting of certain NGOs.
“The petitioner has sought a direction regarding a probe into the shelter homes. CBI has also filed an application regarding the repatriation of officers to the parent cadre. The 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. The state is directed to file an action taken report. It is open to CBI to take assistance from counsels who appeared before the trial court. List it after two weeks,” the bench headed by Chief Justice said.
“It is therefore evident that the problem is perpetuating despite the intervention of this Hon’ble court due to the absence of steps taken in pursuance of CBI recommendations and due to lack of effective measures being put in place by the state of Bihar. It is further evident that the respondent state and its officers by their act of omission and commission are not effectively implementing the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act and are failing in their duty to check the sexual abuse of hapless and destitute inmates of state-run shelter homes.” The application moved by Nivedita Jha reads.“
…Despite the considerable passage of time since such recommendations, neither is there a status report filed disclosing the action taken against these officials nor is there any information publicly available, which demonstrates if and what action (if any) was taken by respondent No.1 (Bihar Government) against the erring officials,” the applicant said in her plea.
The Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case was exposed when the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) submitted a report to the Bihar government in May 2018 mentioning the sexual exploitations of minor girls. A total of 19 persons including Brajesh Thakur were found guilty of being involved in the sexual abuses of minor girls at the shelter home.