New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday reprimanded the Bihar government for the alleged rape of young girls at the government-run shelter home and wondered why the government didn’t check the credentials of the NGO running the care home before allotting regular funds.
A medical examination has confirmed rape of as many as 34 girls out of 44 lodged at the care home being run at Muzaffarpur town in the state.
A bench of the top court comprising Justices M B Lokur, Deepak Gupta and K M Joseph expressed dismay over the Nitish Kumar government’s failure to check the state of affairs at the Muzaffarpur-based shelter home for girls being run on government money by an NGO, according to media reports.
“Money is given to these NGOs managing shelter homes since 2013 but the Bihar government didn’t inspect them,” the court reportedly observed while posting the matter for hearing on August 14.
The court ordered for the arrest of the wife of one of the accused for revealing the names of rape victims on her Facebook account.
The Supreme Court while taking the suo motu cognizance of the sex scandal last week had put a blanket ban on telecasting images—either hidden or blurred—of the victims and restrained from revealing their names saying “they (victims) can’t be compelled to relive the trauma again and again”.
The top court also voiced severe concern over the rising rape incidents across the country, referring to a report of the National Crime Record Bureau which states that 38,947 women were raped in India in 2016.
“What is to be done? Girls and women are getting raped left, right and centre,” an infuriated court asked.
The horror came to light after the a team of the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), Mumbai which visited the shelter home in February this year reported sexual exploitation of inmates in its audit report. The TISS submitted the report in May but the case was registered in July, reports said.
At the care home, the victim girls – one as young as seven – were allegedly drugged, raped, forced to sleep naked and scalded with boiling water by the care home officials when they refused to follow their order, a police charge-sheet has revealed.
The police have so far arrested 11 persons in connection with the care home sex scandal, including the main accused Brajesh Thakur who was also found to be running as many as three newspapers in three different languages—Hindi, English and Urdu. Acting promptly, the state government has blacklisted his papers and stopped funds.
As per reports, Thakur who allegedly had close connections with powers-that-be used to get government advertisements to the tune of over Rs3 million per year by manipulating the circulation figures of his newspapers.