Muzaffarpur shelter home sexual abuse case: SC stays Patna HC order for new CBI probe team

Madhuri Adnal

New Delhi, Sep 18: The Supreme Court Tuesday stayed a Patna High Court order asking the CBI special director to set up a fresh team to probe Muzaffarpur shelter home sexual abuse case.

Patna High Court had on August 29 ordered that a fresh team of investigators be constituted by the Special Director of CBI in the case in which incidents of alleged rape and sexual assault of women inmates over a period of time had come to light in an NGO-run shelter home at Muzaffarpur.

A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said changing the CBI team at this stage will be detrimental to the ongoing investigation.

Attorney General KK Venugopal told the court that the existing probe team carrying out investigation was set up by the CBI director on July 30.

"We don't see any reason why the existing CBI team, probing the Muzaffarpur shelter home case, should be changed at this stage," the apex court said.

Over 30 girls were allegedly raped at the shelter home run by Brajesh Thakur, the chief of a 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.

The top court also asked the probe agency to place before it the two status reports of probe in the case which were filed earlier before the Patna High Court and listed the matter for further hearing on September 20.

An FIR was lodged against 11 people, including Thakur, on May 31. The probe has been taken over by the CBI.

The incidents of alleged rape and sexual assault of the women inmates had come to light after a social audit was conducted by the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).

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