Muzaffarpur Shelter Home Rapes: SC Issues Notice To Centre And State Govt, Condems Reportage By Media

| August 2 , 2018 , 17:10 IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday took suo moto cognizance of the Muzaffarpur shelter home case wherein 34 of the 42 inmates of a shelter home in Bihar.

The Bench comprising Justice MB Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta issued a notice to the Nitish Kumar led state government and also to the Ministry of Women and Child Development.  The bench also expressed concerns over the media coverage of the case.

The bench said, “It has been repeatedly said by this Court that a victim of a sexual offence should not be made to relive the trauma of the incident. In this case, the victims were made to go through it again and again.”

Commenting on the recent trends and reportage by the media groups, Justice Lokur said, “Everyone wants to be the first one to get the news. There will be ten cameras that will come.”

The Court has also said that the victims, in this case, should not be interviewed by anyone except the investigating agencies subject to conditions that the requirements prescribed in the POCSO Act are fulfilled.

The next hearing of the case is scheduled for August 7.

Reports of repeated sexual abuse of inmates at the shelter home in Muzaffarpur surfaced in the wake of a social audit by Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). Education body had carried out a social audit of shelter homes running across the state of Bihar. In its report to the state government, it alleged abuse of inmates.

Bihar Director General Of Police (DGP) KS Dwivedi, told the media that the medical examination of 34 girls out of the 42 shelter home inmates confirmed that they were sexually exploited.

More than 10 people, including all staff members of the shelter home and some government officials, have so far been arrested in this connection while all the inmates have been shifted to other districts.

Nitish Kumar government ordered an enquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation. A team led by CBI inspector Vibha Kumari has landed in Muzaffarpur to begin a probe.