The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that charge sheet in the Muzaffarpur shelter home sexual abuse 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. It said it would soon take a decision in this regard.
Several girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused at an NGO-run shelter home in Muzaffarpur and the issue had come to light following a report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
During the hearing on Wednesday, the court sought to know from the CBI as to whether the Income Tax Department has initiated proceedings with regard to around Rs 4.5 crore which the NGO, running the shelter home in Muzaffarpur, had received from the Bihar government over a period of 10 years for its activities.
"What about the Income Tax people? Have they initiated any proceedings?" the bench, which also comprised Justices Deepak Gupta and Hemant Gupta, asked the CBI.
Responding to the court's query, the CBI's counsel said, "Yes. They (income tax department) are doing it". He said he would apprise the court on the status of proceedings initiated by the department
The bench, which posted the matter for further hearing in the first week of January, asked the CBI to apprise it on the status of the case and also the proceedings by the I-T department.
Besides the Muzaffarpur shelter home, the TISS report had also highlighted "grave concerns" about alleged physical and sexual abuse of inmates in 16 other shelter homes in Bihar.
Initially, the CBI was entrusted with investigation of Muzaffarpur shelter home case but last month, the apex court had asked the agency to probe cases of 16 other shelter homes in the state.
The court, in its September 20 order, had noted that the NGO running the shelter home at Muzaffarpur had received about Rs 4.5 crore from the state over a period of 10 years for its activities and during this period, it had purchased 35 vehicles.
"The other assets of the NGO or Brajesh Thakur (accused in the case) do not appear to be very clear. It is necessary, in our opinion, that the Income Tax Department should look into the income and assets of Brajesh Thakur and indeed of the NGO Sewa Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti," the court had then said.
In the Muzaffarpur shelter home case, an FIR was lodged on May 31 against 11 people following the TISS report. The probe was later taken over by the CBI and so far, 17 people have been arrested.