Angry at mishandling of the Muzaffarpur shelter home sexual abuse cases, the Supreme Court has transferred the trial from Bihar to a court in Delhi and also summoned former interim CBI Director M Nageswara Rao for allegedly transferring an officer involved in the probe against its order.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi ordered that the cases would now be transferred from a CBI Special Court in Bihar to a POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) court at Saket in two weeks.
The top court had on October 30 ordered shifting of prime accused Brajesh Thakur from Bhagalpur jail to a high-security prison in Patiala. It was his NGO which ran the shelter home where the horrific crime took place. On Thursday, it also pulled up the state for mismanagement of shelter homes. 'Enough is enough. Children cannot be treated like this. You cannot let your officers treat children this way. Spare the children,' the court told the Bihar government.
It said it might summon the Chief Secretary if the state failed to furnish all relevant information by 2 pm. But in the post-lunch session, it said the Bihar shelter home case would be taken up with a similar pending case.
Taking exception to the transfer of CBI officer AK Sharma, probing the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex abuse cases, despite an order to the contrary, it summoned former interim CBI Director M Nageswara Rao over Sharma’s transfer. It asked Rao to appear before it on February 12 and directed CBI to identify other officers involved in Sharma’s transfer.
Sharma was supervising the probe but on January 17 his tenure in CBI was curtailed and he was transferred to CRPF amid internal squabbling in the probe agency. 'We are going to take it very… very seriously. You have played with the order of Supreme Court of India. God help you. Never play with the Supreme Court’s order,' said the CJI after the CBI counsel submitted that two officials, including Rao, were involved in the transfer.
The shelter home sex abuse issue came to light in May last year following a report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) that several girls, including minor ones, were allegedly raped and sexually abused at an NGO-run shelter home in Muzaffarpur.
The court had on November 28 ordered a CBI probe into 16 more shelter homes abuse cases in Bihar. The court has been coming down heavily on the Bihar government for its handling of the probe into the Muzaffarpur shelter home where 30 of the 42 girls were allegedly sexually abused.