In a severe indictment of the Bihar administration, the Supreme Court has held the state government responsible for turning its women protection home into a den for “trafficking of girls and women.”
A Bench headed by Justice S.B. Sinha passed the strictures while hearing the petition of a father whose 16-year-old daughter ran away from Nari Suraksha Griha in Patna. The girl along with three others jumped a 12 feet high wall of the home in August last year.
The incident took place at a time when SC was hearing the father’s petition seeking custody of his daughter. Though the local police conducted raids in several parts of the state following an SC order, they managed to trace just two of the missing girls.
Asking the State Human Rights Commission to conduct an inquiry into the functioning of the home, the bench directed State’s Chief Secretary (CS) to submit a report with respect to the maintenance and governance of the Suraksha Griha.
It gave specific directions to the CS to initiate steps to improve security arrangements at the home and submit a report to SC giving details of the measures and also indicate the reasons behind police’s inability to trace the missing girls. The court also wants to know what action the State has taken or contemplated against the erring officer who was responsible of the home when the girls escaped.
Both the SC judges were shocked to read the report that depicted a miserable picture regarding functioning of the women protection home. The report talked about similar past incidents of girls missing from the home. It was disclosed that registers were not properly maintained and there was no check on entry inside the home. The report spoke extensively about the lack of sufficient security guards.