New Delhi: The Supreme Court on May 6 asked the CBI to file by June 3 its status report on the ongoing probe into the alleged murder of 11 girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur in Bihar.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta said the matter would be heard by a vacation bench on June 3, keeping in view the urgency of the case.
Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the CBI, told the court that 11 girls are alleged to have been murdered in the Muzaffarpur shelter home and the agency has also recovered bones from a burial ground.
However, Venugopal told the court it would not be possible for the CBI to complete the probe into the alleged murder of the girls by June 3.
On May 3, the CBI had told the apex court that 11 girls had been murdered allegedly by key accused Brajesh Thakur and his accomplices and that a “bundle of bones” had been recovered from a burial ground.
Several girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused at an NGO-run shelter home. The issue had come to light following a report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
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The probe into the case was transferred to the CBI and the agency has chargesheeted 21 people, including Thakur.
In its affidavit filed with the top court earlier, the CBI stated that from the statement of victims recorded during the probe, names had emerged of 11 girls who had allegedly been murdered.
“During investigation, from the statement of victims recorded by IOs (investigating officers) and the NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences) team, names of 11 girls emerged who were said to be allegedly murdered by the accused Brajesh Thakur and his accomplices,” the CBI has said.
“Based on the facts revealed by one accused, namely Guddu Patel during his interrogation, a particular spot in burial ground as identified by accused Guddu Patel was excavated and a bundle of bones were recovered from the spot,” the CBI has said in the affidavit filed on an application, which had alleged that it had not conducted a proper probe in the case.
The CBI has said they carried out a “thorough, fair, impartial probe” in the case, and the investigation regarding allegations of murder was carried out by them soon after revelations were made by the victims.
“On scrutiny of details of these 11 girls entered in the master register (of the shelter home), it was found that there were a total of 35 girls with identical/similar names who at one time or the other stayed at Balika Grih, Muzaffarpur,” it said, adding that “as per revelation made by the inmates before IOs, all the alleged burial grounds were excavated by local police/CBI.”
The CBI has said that allegations regarding involvement of outsiders, who used to physically or sexually abuse the girls, have been properly investigated by them and accused have also been chargesheeted as per revelation made by victims.
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“It is denied that the CBI is trying to shield the real perpetrators or that the leads given by victims regarding role of outsiders was intentionally not probed,” it said, adding that an officer of the social welfare department of Bihar has also been chargesheeted in the case.
The petition alleging that CBI had not conducted a proper probe in the case has also claimed that the probe agency was trying to “shield real perpetrators”.
The apex court had in February transferred the case from Bihar to a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court at the Saket District Court complex in Delhi.
On November 28 last year, the top court had directed the CBI to conduct a probe into allegations of physical and sexual abuse of inmates in 16 other shelter homes in Bihar, which were flagged in the TISS report.