Wednesday, January 27, 2021

SC asks CBI to complete Muzaffarpur shelter home probe in 3 months

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SC asks CBI to complete Muzaffarpur shelter home probe in 3 monthsThe Supreme Court on Monday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation probing Bihar’s Muzaffarpur shelter home rape cases to complete the probe and place the report before it within three months.

The top court asked the CBI to investigate allegations of murder, after human skeletons were exhumed from a spot at the insistence of one of the accused in the case. It had earlier asked the agency to probe murder of 11 girls at the shelter home and file a status report by June 3.

The apex court also directed the CBI to investigate the role of outsiders, allegedly involved in sexual assault, often after intoxicating them.

The case came to light in May last year following a report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) alleging sexual abuse of inmates at the shelter home. In the medical examination that followed, sexual abuse of 34 out of the 42 girls was confirmed.

The top court had moved the case from Bihar to a court in Saket District court in Delhi.

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Today, the CBI submitted an interim report in a sealed cover detailing its investigation before the bench comprising Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice M.R. Shah. The agency urged the court to grant it 6 months to complete the probe, but the court agreed on 3 months for the CBI to submit its final report in the case, and asked all agencies to cooperate with CBI.

The top court directed the CBI to investigate and identify outsiders who allegedly committed sexually assault on the victims after they were intoxicated.

The counsel for CBI contended that the agency is awaiting the forensic report to ascertain the identities of two bodies it excavated during the investigation. The counsel expressed satisfaction on the trial wherein 21 accused have been chargesheeted in the case.

The amicus curiae in the case submitted before the court that in light of the statements made by several victims, the murder aspect needed to be probed. The amicus curiae emphasized investigating the allegations regarding offences of sexual assault, as an internal part of the entire investigation.

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Advocate Fauzia Shakil, counsel for the petitoner, said no proper investigation has so far been conducted by the CBI, specifically the victims’ claim on trafficking of girls at the shelter home, and insisted the CBI should investigate the role of outsiders involved in sexual offences.

The court wanted to know the number of missing girls. The counsel for CBI said 471 inmates were in the shelter out of which 11 were murdered, whose identities are yet to confirmed.

The court dismissed the application by main accused Brajesh Thanks to intervene in the matter. The CBI contended that outsiders’ role has been investigated and as per victims’ statements, the accused have been chargesheeted.


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