The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to complete by June 3 its inquiry into the alleged murder of 11 girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur town in Bihar. The court also asked the agency to file a status report, PTI reported.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta also said that since the matter is urgent, a vacation bench will hear it on June 3.
The court initially asked the CBI to finish the probe by May 20, The Hindu reported. However, Attorney General KK Venugopal, representing the agency, said it would not be possible to do so within two weeks. Venugopal said that while 11 girls were allegedly murdered, it was found that 35 girls with identical names who had stayed at the shelter home at one time or another.
The court then extended the deadline to June 3.
During the hearing, senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, representing the petitioner who had alleged that the CBI had not conducted a proper inquiry, said the victims had given categorical statements to the agency about the murders. However, three months later, the CBI has not completed the investigation, he added. Naphade said that the central agency should finish the inquiry into the murders as soon as possible.
On May 3, the CBI told the court that a “bundle of bones” were recovered from a burial ground. The agency, whose investigation has been called a farce, filed its seventh status report that day.
Brajesh Thakur, the key accused, used to run the shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district where at least 34 inmates were allegedly raped. The alleged sexual exploitation of the children to light in April 2018 after the Tata Institute of Social Sciences submitted an audit report of 110 shelter homes in the state to the state government. The Nitish Kumar government then filed a first information report against 11 people, including Thakur. The CBI has chargesheeted 21 people.