The Supreme Court on Thursday, September 12, directed the Bihar government to reunite eight of the survivors with their families in the Muzaffarpur shelter home case. The apex court also stated that financial, medical and educational assistance should be given to the survivors.
A bench of justices, including N V Ramana and Ajay Rastogi, passed the order on the issue of re-union. The top court's decision comes after TISS filed a report before it in a sealed cover saying that the eight girls were fit to be handed over to their families.
The top court is dealing with an application filed by the government of Bihar seeking permission to complete the process of rehabilitation and restoration of the victims of Muzaffarpur shelter home, who are presently residing in different shelter homes in the state, with their families.
More than 40 girls were sexually assaulted at an NGO-run shelter home in Bihar's Muzaffarpur. The allegations of rampant sexual assault surfaced last year, following a report by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) which had conducted a social audit.
The Tiss report highlighted that girls at that shelter home were regularly raped, beaten and were also terrorised.
CBI probe into Bihar horror home
The probe into the rape case was transferred to Central Bureau of Investigation and the agency has charge-sheeted 21 people, including Brijesh Thakur. "During the investigation, from the statement of victims recorded by IOs (investigating officers) and 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 probe agency said.
In the affidavit filed on an application, which had alleged that CBI had not conducted a proper probe in the case, the probe agency 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."
One of the accused in the case -- Manju Verma -- had to step down as the Social Welfare Minister in the Nitish Kumar government as her husband has close links with the main accused, Brijesh Thakur.
Earlier in February, the Supreme Court had transferred the case from Bihar to a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court in Saket District Court complex in New Delhi.