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Muzaffarpur shelter home: Patna HC pulls up CBI for delay in progress report

By Pti
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    Patna, Aug 23: The Patna High Court pulled up the CBI today for its failure to submit a progress report in the investigation into the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal case and also sought to know from it as why a Superintend of Police-rank officer, who was part of the probe team, was transferred.

    Members of different organisation stage a protest march against Muzaffarpur shelter home rape. Photo credit: PTI

    A division bench comprising Chief Justice Mukesh R Shah and Justice Ravi Ranjan directed the CBI to file its reply by the next date of hearing on August 27 and place it before the court in a sealed cover.

    In its previous order of August 6, the court had directed the SP, CBI, to appear before this court through a counsel and submit a report with regard to the progress of the investigation.

    The SP, JP Mishra, was shifted from the Special Crime Branch and attached to the office of the DIG at Patna vide an order passed by the CBI headquarters on August 21.

    The court asked the central probe agency to explain as to why Mishra, who was the investigating officer in the case, was transferred.

    Opposition parties in Bihar have criticised the reshuffle, alleging that it would adversely affect the probe.

    The Patna High Court was monitoring the probe into the sordid episode at the government-funded short stay home for girls at Muzaffarpur on the request of the Bihar government.

    Meanwhile, the court also expressed displeasure over leak of details of the investigation and asked the media to refrain from publishing the same as it could be detrimental to the probe.

    The sexual assault of 34 girls over a period of time in the government-funded Muzaffarpur shelter home came to light after a social audit was conducted by the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

    An FIR was subsequently registered by the Bihar social welfare department and 10 persons, including prime accused Brajesh Thakur whose NGO ran the shelter home, were arrested.

    However, following a huge outcry the Nitish Kumar government handed over the probe to the CBI a month ago which was followed by the resignation of social welfare minister Manju Verma a few days later.

    On the previous day of hearing on the matter, the government had requested the High Court to monitor the CBI probe and consider appointing a special judge for speedy trial.

    Both the requests had been accepted by the court.

    PTI

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