CBI files chargesheet against 21 persons including prime accused Brajesh Thakur in Muzaffarpur home abuse case
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a chargesheet against 21 persons including prime accused Brajesh Thakur, the man who was managing NGO Seva Sankalp Evam Vikash Samiti, in connection with the Muzaffarpur home abuse case.
The chargesheet, in a sealed envelope, was filed in the special POCSO court of ADJ-1 RP Tiwari.
Defence lawyer Annu Babu said, “Since the chargesheet was filed in a sealed envelop, we couldn’t get any information on its contents, especially the relevant sections, invoked against the accused.”
The case pertains to sexual exploitation of 44 girls at the shelter home. The social welfare department had given a contract to the NGO to run the shelter home in Muzaffarpur town in 2013.
Thakur’s NGO was selected over other NGOs in the bid as he was said to have close connections with senior politicians of the ruling party and some bureaucrats. Medical tests had found that as many as 34 of the 44 girls lodged at the government-funded-shelter home were sexually assaulted.
The Supreme Court had described Thakur as a ‘very influential man’ and recommended shifting him to Punjab jail from Bihar’s central jail. The Muzaffarpur municipal corporation has now begun dismantling the four-storeyed shelter home building after they found it was constructed in utter violation of building laws.
The sensational case had first come to limelight in April this year following a social audit report prepared by TISS on the status of all state-funded shelter homes in Bihar. The TISS, in its report, had found that inmates had been sexually exploited in the shelter home.
Following the report, the Muzaffarpur police lodged an FIR against 11 persons, in which nine accused, including seven women, were arrested and forwarded to judicial custody on June 2. A chargesheet was filed in July by the police and the case was later transferred to the CBI.
On December 12, the CBI informed the apex court that the chargesheet in the Muzaffarpur case was ready but the agency was discussing whether to file a consolidated final report or have a separate one on each victim.
The CBI told a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur that the issue was being discussed as there were independent victims and witnesses in the case.
Initially, the CBI was entrusted with investigation of the Muzaffarpur shelter home case, but last month, the apex court asked the agency to probe cases of 16 other shelter homes in the state.
The Patna branch of Enforcement Directorate, which is also probing the case, has summoned Thakur’s wife Asha and son Rahul Anand for questioning on December 24 and 26 respectively.