The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed a Patna High Court order directing the Central Bureau of Investigation’s special director to set up a new team to investigate the Muzaffarpur shelter home sexual abuse case, PTI reported.
On August 29, the Patna High Court ordered the agency’s special director to form a new team to investigate allegations of sexual exploitation of children in the shelter home. On Monday, the High Court pulled up the CBI for not complying with its August 29 order and asked it to inform the court on the progress in implementing its order, reported News18.
A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said changing the CBI team at this stage will be detrimental to the ongoing investigation. Attorney General K K Venugopal told the court that the existing team was set up by the CBI director on July 30.
“We don’t see any reason why the existing CBI team, probing the Muzaffarpur shelter home case, should be changed at this stage,” the top court said.
The Supreme Court also asked the CBI submit the two status reports of the case which were filed before the Patna High Court and listed the matter for further hearing on Thursday.
The alleged sexual exploitation of children in the shelter came to light after Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences submitted an audit report of 110 shelter homes in the state in April. The audit had been ordered by the state government, which filed a first information report on May 31. Initially, the police said 16 girls had been sexually assaulted. Later, the figure was revised to 34 on the basis of a medical report released by the Patna Medical College and Hospital.
Former state Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma stepped down from her post on August 8 after allegations surfaced about her husband Chandeshwar Verma’s links to Brajesh Thakur, who used to run the shelter.