SC seeks response from Bihar govt, CBI on Patna HC order banning media from reporting Muzaffarpur shelter home case
A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta asked Bihar government and the CBI, which is investigating the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case, to file their response to the petition, and listed the matter for 18 September.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notices to the Bihar government and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on a plea challenging a Patna High Court order, which restrains the media from reporting on the investigation into Muzaffarpur shelter home case where several women were allegedly raped and sexually abused.
A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta asked Bihar government and the CBI, which is investigating the case, to file their response to the petition, and listed the matter for 18 September.
The bench was informed that the Patna High Court had on 29 August passed an order appointing a lady advocate as an amicus in the case pending there, and asked her to visit the place where the alleged victims are staying kept and interview them for the purpose of their rehabilitation. The apex court stayed the appointment of the amicus.
The petition was filed by a Patna-based journalist through advocate Fauzia Shakil, challenging the Patna High Court order restraining the media from reporting about the investigation into Muzaffarpur shelter home case. The incident of alleged rape and sexual assault of women over a period of time in the NGO-run shelter home at Muzaffarpur had come to light after a social audit was conducted by the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
The apex court had earlier taken cognisance of the incident after a letter was written by Patna resident Ranvijay Kumar, highlighting the issue of repeated interviews of the alleged victims of Muzaffarpur shelter home being published and aired.
Over 30 girls were allegedly raped at the shelter home run by Brajesh Thakur, the chief of the state-funded NGO. The alleged sexual exploitation of the girls was first highlighted in an audit report submitted by TISS to the state's social welfare department. An FIR was lodged against 11 people, including Thakur, on 31 May. The probe was taken over by the CBI.
Bhatia, also a senior advocate, has urged the court to seek a detailed report from the state government regarding FIRs registered, arrests made and steps taken against the perpetrators
Former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh had alleged that Deshmukh had asked police officers to extort Rs 100 crore per month from bars and restaurants
The additional district court was to pronounce the verdict on Tuesday. Judge Kshama Joshi, however, adjourned the verdict to 12 May