NGO owner Brajesh Thakur, 18 others convicted in Bihar shelter home case
A Delhi court on Monday convicted 19 people including NGO owner Brajesh Thakur for sexual assault of girls at Muzaffarpur shelter home in Bihar. The judge slated the matter for arguments on quantum of sentence on January 28.
Former Bihar People’s Party MLA Brajesh Thakur, the prime accused in the case, was charged for rape, gang rape under various sections of the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act and criminal conspiracy. The court also acquitted one of the accused in the case.
The accused included 12 men and eight women.
he Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in December last year filed a chargesheet against the 21 persons. One of the chargesheeted is absconding.
The court had earlier deferred for the third time pronouncement of judgement in the case till January 20 after the petition was filed before it. On December 12, the court had deferred the judgment for a second time in the case till January 14 as Judge Saurabh Kulshrestha, who had conducted the trial, was on leave.
Earlier in November, the court had deferred by a month till December 12 as the as the accused could not be brought to court premises from jail due to lawyers’ strike in all six district courts in Delhi.
The court had, on March 20, 2018, framed charges against 21 accused--nine women and 13 men --for offences of criminal conspiracy to commit rape and penetrative sexual assault against minors.
The accused include employees of an NGO (Sewa Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti) run by prime accused Brajesh Thakur, who is currently lodged in Tihar central jail, and officials of Bihar’s department of social welfare. More than 42 minors were allegedly sexually assaulted over a period of time in the shelter home which was run by Thakur’s state-funded NGO.
More than 42 minors were allegedly sexually assaulted over a period of time in the shelter home which was run by Thakur’s state-funded NGO. The matter had come to light in February 2018 after the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) conducted a social audit and submitted the report to the Bihar government, highlighting the sexual abuse on the shelter home inmates for the first time.