The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to take over the inquiries into allegations of physical and sexual abuse of inmates at 16 shelter homes in Bihar, PTI reported. The agency is already investigating allegations of sexual abuse at the Muzaffarpur shelter home and is expected to file a chargesheet in this case by December 7.

All these cases of sexual exploitation were brought to light by a report that the Tata Institute of Social Sciences submitted to the state government in April. The institution had audited 110 shelter homes and found that allegations raised at these 17 shelter homes were of grave nature. The authorities filed a first information report against 11 people in the Muzaffarpur case on May 31. A medical report later confirmed the sexual assault of 34 inmates at the shelter.

The top court’s directive on Wednesday came a day after it criticised the Bihar government for failing to file the correct First Information Report in the Muzaffarpur case and said called its conduct shameful. The court also dismissed the state government’s plea to not transfer the investigations to the CBI.

The court passed the order after the agency said that it was ready to take over the investigations. Justices SA Nazeer and Deepak Gupta said CBI officers investigating the cases cannot be transferred without the court’s permission.

On Monday, a special court in Bihar extended the CBI remand of two key aides of Brajesh Thakur, the main accused in the Muzaffarpur case, by four days. On November 21, the court had sent them to five-day CBI custody. Former state minister Manju Verma had surrendered in a court in Begusarai last week. She had resigned in August in the wake of allegations that her husband Chandrashekhar Verma had links with Thakur.