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The Supreme Court today granted a period of three months to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to complete its investigation in the Muzaffarpur Shelter Home Case.
The CBI has also been directed by the Vacation Bench of Justices Indu Malhotra and MR Shah to expand its investigation to look into aspects of allegations of abuse under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, offences under the Information Technology Act regarding alleged video recording of the abuse, allegations of human trafficking et al.
The CBI had approached the Court seeking a period of six months to complete its probe. The agency also submitted an interim report in a sealed cover to the Court detailing the status and progress of the investigation till date.
Amicus Curiae in the case, advocate Aparna Bhat told the Court that in addition to the charges of murder, various other aspects in the case needed investigation. Bhat also added that while the trial was being carried out satisfactorily, a period of six months for an investigation is too long and unreasonable.
The Court thus granted the CBI three months to complete its probe submit a report on the case.
CBI was represented by Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan.
The case pertains to the rape and sexual abuse of inmates of a shelter home in Muzaffarpur, which was brought to the notice of the police in May last year.
Nearly 30 minor girls in a Muzaffarpur shelter home are reported to have suffered sexual abuse. After the FIR was lodged, the CBI took over the investigation of the case at the request of the state.
Over the course of several hearings, the Supreme Court had expressed its displeasure over the lax manner in which the case was being handled by the Bihar authorities. Notably, the Bench had pulled up the authorities over their reluctance to charge the accused with serious offences in the FIR, as well as their inability to act against Child Welfare Committee member, Brajesh Thakur (in-charge of the shelter homes) and ex-cabinet minister Manju Verma, both of whom have been accused of playing a role in the allowing the abuse.
Read the Order: