A Special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act Court in New Delhi on Saturday ordered a CBI probe against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in connection with the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal in Bihar. An inquiry has been also instructed against Muzaffarpur district magistrate Dharmendra Singh and principal secretary of Social Welfare Atul Prasad in the case.
"Court orders CBI to conduct a probe against Bihar CM Nitish Kumar in Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal," the news agency PTI reported.
The development came days after the Supreme Court, in its last hearing, on February 7 transferred the sensational case from the Bihar CBI court to a POCSO Saket trial court in New Delhi. The top court also came down heavily on the Nitish Kumar-led JD-U government for not submitting details on the Muzaffarpur sexual scandal case. A bench
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi took a grim view of the progress made so far in the case and directed the POSCO court to conclude the trial within six months from the date of transfer. The bench, which also consists of Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.
The bench was irked over the inadequate response of the Bihar government counsel on issues like the number of shelter homes, their management and the administrative control over them. "Enough is enough. Children cannot be treated like this. You cannot let your officers treat children this way. Spare the children," the bench said.
In 2018, several girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused at an NGO-run shelter home in Muzaffarpur and the issue had come to light following a report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). Following the TISS report, an FIR was lodged on May 31, 2018, against 11 people in the matter.
The probe was later taken over by the CBI and 17 people have been arrested so far. The amicus curiae had also told the court that there were 1,028 shelter homes across India where instances of sexual and physical abuse have been reported.
(With inputs from agencies)