Muzaffarpur shelter home case: Supreme Court orders girls' return to families

A bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana also ordered that the Bihar government should take care of the overall aid for the victims.

Published: 12th September 2019 12:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th September 2019 12:56 PM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court of India

Supreme Court of India (File Photo)

By PTI

NEW DELHI:  The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Bihar government to reunite eight girls, who had stayed at a Muzaffarpur shelter home where several inmates were sexually assaulted, with their families.The atrocities had come to light following a report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), which had conducted a social audit at the shelter home.

After pursuing the report, a bench of Justices N V Ramana and Ajay Rastogi directed the Bihar government to begin the process of compensation and benefits of welfare schemes for these girls.It also directed the Mumbai-based TISS to submit a status report after eight weeks on the other inmates.
Vrinda Grover, appearing for TISS, informed the bench that ‘Koshish’, a wing of TISS, has contacted the family members of five girls, but the home visit is due. In the case of some girls, the counsel said, their extended families are willing to take them back, while some are children with special needs.

The top court also took on record the statement of the state government that it will provide financial, educational and medical assistance, including psychiatric help, to the girls. In July, the apex court had permitted ‘Koshish’ to interact with these children and their families for their reunion and the repercussions thereupon.

The apex court is dealing with an application filed by the Bihar government seeking permission to complete the process of rehabilitation of 44 inmates, who are now staying at different shelter homes, with their families. The trial against 21 accused, charge sheeted by the CBI for alleged sexual and physical assault on the Muzaffarpur inmates, is going on at a trial court of Delhi.

The counsel appearing for Bihar had earlier told the top court that children of Muzaffarpur shelter home have been kept in different child care institutions and some of them have started showing aggressive behaviour and also indulged in inflicting self harm.

CBI case already on in Delhi court
The apex court had in February transferred the case from Bihar to a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court in Saket District Court complex in Delhi. Trial against 21 accused is going on in the trial court at the national capital.

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