Supreme Court transfers Muzaffarpur shelter home sexual assault case from Bihar to Delhi

The Supreme Court ordered the Saket trial court to conclude the trial within six months

The Supreme Court on Thursday transferred the Muzaffarpur shelter home abuse case trial to Delhi.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi directed the POCSO Court at Saket in the National Capital to complete the trial in six months.

The CBI, which is investigating the Muzaffarpur case, sought a transfer of the case out of Bihar where the accused continue to be influential persons and may harass the witnesses.

The Bench took strong exception to the transfer of the CBI officer, A.K. Sharma, who is leading the probe team, despite a Supreme Court embargo.

In November 2018, the Supreme Court had transferred to the CBI more cases of sexual abuse, other than the Muzaffarpur case, in 16 other shelter homes for children, destitute women, beggars and senior citizens in Bihar.

The court had specifically barred the transfer of the probe team officers without taking the prior consent of the Supreme Court.

"Did you not apprise the Cabinet Appointments Committee of our order?" Chief Justice Gogoi asked the CBI counsel. The court ordered the CBI to get instructions and come back to report to the court at 2 p.m.

The court took on record the status report filed by the CBI on the probe into the 16 shelter homes till January 31, 2019. The CBI said the investigation into them were going in the "right earnest".

In November, the apex court slammed the Nitish Kumar government in the presence of the Bihar Chief Secretary for “not doing its job properly”.

The last straw was when the court had realised that FIRs so far registered in these cases mentioned only petty offences. Serious offences allegedly failed to find mention in the 11 FIRs so far lodged in cases of abuse and torture in the 16 shelter homes.

The court had directed the Bihar government to fulfil any request from the CBI team for additional manpower or infrastructure.

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