Shelter home case: Muzaffarpur court transfers papers to Delhi court
The case pertains to alleged mental, physical and sexual exploitation of minor girls residing at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur.Updated: Feb 20, 2019, 10:37 IST
Nearly a fortnight after the Supreme Court order transfer of the Muzaffarpur shelter home case to POCSO court at Saket in New Delhi, the special court of additional district judge (ADJ) in Muzaffarpur, where the trial was going on so far under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences ( POCSO) Act, transferred all the related files and documents on Monday.
The case pertains to alleged mental, physical and sexual exploitation of minor girls residing at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur.
On February 7, the Supreme Court had ordered to shift the case trial to Saket court. It also ordered that the trial should commence within two weeks and hearings completed within six months.
This is only the second instance in Bihar when the trial of a case has been transferred to another state. The first case involved a political murder in the undivided Bihar.
In the shelter home case, 21 accused have been charge-sheeted, including alleged kingpin Brajesh Thakur, who is presently lodged in a jail in Patiala of Punjab. Others are lodged in different prisons in Bihar.
The case first came to light when the report of a social audit conducted by Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, was submitted to the state’s social welfare department in April 2018.
The FIR in the case was registered on May 31 against 11 persons. However, following massive uproar, the Bihar government recommended a CBI inquiry into the matter on July 26.
A senior official said all the accused may be transferred to a prison in Delhi if the Saket court so desired. “In Bihar prisons, there is still no facility of trial through video conferencing,” he said.
There are over 100 witnesses in the case, including 34 minor girls who were inmates of the shelter home. Others are officials, doctors, employees of the shelter home etc.
The accused had also earlier filed three separate petitions, seeking inquiry against senior officials, including former Muzaffarpur DM and social welfare department officials.
“The hearing on one of the petitions has already been completed in the Muzaffarpur court, while two others would now be shifted to Saket court,” said advocate Ajay Thakur, counsel for Kumari Madhu, an accused and close aide of Brajesh Thakur whose NGO ran the shelter home.
The CBI handed over the case related papers to the counselors of the accusaed. The date for framing of charges which was fixed by the Muzaffarpur court for February 20, has been deferred as the case has been transferred to Saket in New Delhi.