On a day when the Haryana government decided to hand over Rohtak shelter home abuses case to the CBI, Punjab and Haryana high court directed a state-appointed special investigating team (SIT) headed by additional director general of police (law and order) MS Mann to submit a detailed probe report in a sealed cover to the court on July 11.
The court also directed the Haryana government for immediate medical examination of all inmates of 'Apna Ghar' at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) and submit the medical reports before July 11.
Mann, who was present in the court, submitted the status report on functioning of the SIT in the case till date. The police officer also apprised the high court that the Haryana government had formally decided to hand over the case to an independent agency outside the state.
A vacation bench headed by justice Naresh Kumar Sanghi made it clear that inmates already examined earlier at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh need not be examined again, unless specifically required. There were a total of 101 inmates at Apna Ghar.
Sounding a warning to all agencies involved in investigation of the case, justice Sanghi said, "If any person, police or doctor or anyone else, dealing with the court, gives a wrong report, he'll do at his own risk."
The bench was hearing a public interest litigation seeking CBI investigation in the case, in which a four-member committee of lawyers set up by the high court had submitted a shocking report revealing sexual assault, beating, starvation, naked parade, pornography, forcible abortions, forceful intoxication of inmates by caretaker Jaswanti Devi, her relatives, outsiders and also policemen.
The state counsel assured the court that every possible effort would be made by the state to ensure safety of Apna Ghar inmates shifted to 12 different shelter homes and also witnesses in the case.
On the basis of recommendations made by the advocates' committee to create a separate fund to take care of welfare of the inmates, the state counsel requested the bench that the direction on this point be deferred for the time being so that the SIT's probe can clear the state government's mind as to what needed to be done for whom.
During the hearing of case, two members of the lawyers' committee -- Puneeta Sethi and Utsav Singh Bains -- informed the bench that they concurred with all facts and suggestions given by other two panel members Anil Malhotra and Sudeepti Sharma in their report submitted earlier to the high court on June 13.
In their one-page report, the duo while seeking protection to the case witnesses also added some more names of the inmates for carrying out their medical examination. Earlier, Malhotra and Sharma had recommended medical examination of 50 inmates.
The case would now come up for hearing on July 11.