Muzaffarpur Shelter Home Case: SC lifts ban on reporting; tells media not to sensationalise news

Prabhakar Mishra, Sep 20, New Delhi: There have been new developments in the Muzaffarpur Shelter Home Case and the Supreme Court has made it clear that there cannot be a blanket ban on the media reporting in the alleged rape case of the innocent orphan girls which had shaken the nation and the pricked its conscience.However, the Supreme Court asked both the print and the electronic media not to sensationalise the incidents of sexual abuse and sexual violence.A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta vacated the August 23 order of the Patna High Court, which had imposed a ban on media reporting of the investigations in the case.Over 30 girls were allegedly raped at the shelter home run by Brajesh Thakur, the chief of a state-funded NGO. The alleged sexual exploitation of the girls was first highlighted in an audit report submitted by TISS to the state’s social welfare department.The TISS audit report had said that many girls at the shelter home in Bihar had complained of sexual abuse. A special investigation team was formed to probe the complaints.The NGO running the shelter home in Muzaffarpur was blacklisted and the girls were shifted to shelter homes in Patna and Madhubani. Women staff members of the shelter home and Thakur were among those who were arrested by the police in connection with the case.Here are the main points of the CBI status report to the Supreme Court: - Neighbours had heard screams from the girls at odd hours but did not say anything due to fear and influence of Brajesh thakur.- SC also noted 8 girls were transferred from the Seva sankalp shelter home in March, after TISS visit.- SC asked CBI to seize documents from Social welfare department on why these girls were shifted; SC asks CBI to thoroughly investigate.-CBI report also indicates that more children have come out and complained about abuse.- SC also directs CBI to alert income tax authorities to look into more than 4.5 crore received by the NGO Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti and purchase of over 35 vehicles.-SC asks IT authorities to look into Brajesh Thakur and the NGO matter.

News24 Bureau with Agencies