The Supreme Court on Tuesday criticised the Bihar government for failing to file the correct First Information Report in the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case, ANI reported. The court gave the Nitish Kumar government a day to add charges under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
“If we find that there were offences under Section 377 IPC and POCSO Act and you did not register FIR, we will pass an order against the government,” the bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur said, posting the matter for Wednesday.
“What are you [Bihar government] doing?” the court asked. “It is shameful. If the child is sodomised you say it is nothing. How can you do this? It is inhuman. We were told that matter will be looked with great seriousness. This is seriousness? Every time I read this file it is tragic.”
The Bihar government’s counsel told the court that he would ensure the offence under Section 277 would be added in the FIRs. “We were earlier told that state will look into the matter with all seriousness and this is the seriousness you are showing. This is a tragedy,” the top court added.
The bench also pulled up the state police for not doing its job as expected. “We would like the Central Bureau of Investigation to deal with these allegations,” the bench observed. The Supreme Court asked the counsel of the CBI to check if the agency can investigate nine out of 17 shelter homes in the state named in a report of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, which had discovered sexual exploitation of the inmates at the Muzaffarpur shelter in April.
TISS had submitted an audit report of 110 shelter homes in the state on instructions from the state government. The authorities filed a first information report against 11 people on May 31. A medical report confirmed the sexual assault of 34 inmates at the Muzaffarpur shelter.
The court noted that as per TISS’s report, there were 17 shelter homes where the allegations raised were of grave nature. When the state’s counsel said seven shelter homes were found to be in good condition, the bench said, “Seven out of around 110.”
The court further said: “Are we doing any favour to these children? Why cannot every shelter home be good. Why you should not do this? Are these children not citizens of this country?”
The top court’s censure of the state government came a day after a special court in Bihar extended the CBI remand of two key aides of Brajesh Thakur, the main accused in the case, by four days. On November 21, the court had sent them to five-day CBI custody.