Supreme Court slams Bihar government in shelter home cases

The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up Bihar government over its failure to register the appropriate criminal cases in connection with the alleged physical and sexual assault on children at shelter homes in the state.

The Supreme Court was hearing a separate case of multiple rapes at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur when it found faults in the way the Bihar government has been handling cases.

Supreme Court warned, ‘if we find that there were offences under section 377 Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and you did not register FIR, we will pass an order against the government.’

The Bihar government has registered only for minimum offence. If you haven’t registered FIR on 377, then how will you investigate?” Supreme Court said.

The apex court slammed Bihar government for not showing seriousness in the matter. “We were told that matter will be looked with great seriousness, this is seriousness?” it added.

The top court gave the state government 24 hours to add the charges under section 377 (rape) IPC and POCSO Act in the FIR.

Numerous cases of sexual abuse, rape, and torture were reported in the Muzaffarpur Shelter Home. Over 30 girls were raped and tortured, before the crime was uncovered by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).

The court will resume hearing on Wednesday.