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Muzaffarpur rape case: Brajesh Thakur, officers of Bihar social welfare department charged with criminal conspiracy, neglect of duty

New Delhi: A special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court in New Delgi on Saturday framed charges against all 21 accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case.

Special POCSO judge Saurabh Kulshreshta will hold a trial for rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, drugging of minors, criminal intimidation, cruelty and various other charges under POCSO, the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Juvenile Justice Act against all the accused.

After pronouncing the charges, Kulshreshta posted the matter for further hearing on Monday.

 Muzaffarpur rape case: Brajesh Thakur, officers of Bihar social welfare department charged with criminal conspiracy, neglect of duty

File photo of the Muzaffarpur shelter home. News18

Aparna Bhatt is acting as the amicus curiae in the case.

Key accused Brajesh Thakur and employees of his shelter home, as well as officials of Bihar's Department of Social Welfare, have been charged with criminal conspiracy, neglect of duty and failure to report an assault on the girls.

Thakur has been charged under Section 5 (aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of the POCSO Act, for which minimum punishment is five years and maximum punishment is life imprisonment.

He has also been charged under Section 376C(2) (punishment of sexual assault by a person placed in charge of a shelter home) of the IPC.

Advocate Promod Dubey represented Thakur in court.

Thakur, along with Ravi Roushan, Ramanuj Thakur, Ashwani Kumar and Shahista Parween alias Madhu was present during the hearing. He was also charged with the offence of cruelty to a child under their authority under the Juvenile Justice Act.

The CBI chargesheet names 21 people, including Thakur, who used to run the shelter home funded by the Bihar government where 44 minor girls were allegedly sexually abused over a period of time.

Earlier, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had transferred the trial of the case from Bihar to a Delhi court and ordered the judge to complete it within six months.

The bench, while transferring the trial to the Saket District Court, had said it should be heard by a judge dealing with POCSO Act cases since the victims are minors.

The apex court, on 31 October, last year had also rapped the Bihar Police for its failure to arrest former state minister Manju Verma, who came under scrutiny after it was found that her husband Chandrashekhar Verma allegedly had links with Thakur.

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Updated Date: Mar 30, 2019 19:18:20 IST