The Centre today submitted a shocking report which said 1,575 children including 286 boys were sexually or physically abused in various shelter homes in different parts of the country prompting a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur to ask the Centre “What have you done about it?”
There was flurry of questions to Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand from the bench of Justices Lokur, Deepak Gupta and S Abdul Nazeer when she said the state governments had been informed about the abuse of 1,575 children last year itself.
“What have you done about it? Which are the shelter homes where they are kept? What action the states have taken on this, the bench asked the ASG who said she would get instruction on this issue and get back to the court.
Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Bihar government, told the bench that they have no objection if the social audit report of shelter homes in the state prepared by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) was made public.
The bench directed the Bihar government to make the report public.
The Bihar government also told the court that three organisations, including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi, were already looking into the psycho-social aspect of the girls who were allegedly raped and sexually abused at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur.
On August 7 the bench pulled up the Bihar government in connection with the rape of minor girls in a Muzaffarpur shelter home run by an NGO and said it almost amounted to “state-sponsored incidents”.
It also expressed concern that women and children were being raped “left right and centre”.
The bench is hearing the case wherein the SC had on August 2 taken suo motu cognizance of the incident in the shelter home run by an
NGO and issued notices to the Bihar government and the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.
On that day it had restrained the media from publishing photos, including morphed ones, of victims or interviews with them.
“Was the credentials of this NGO which runs the home-Seva Sankalp and Vikas Samiti been verified? If you are doling out funds to NGOs without verifying their credentials, it almost amounts to state involvement. It will appear that all their wrongdoings are state-sponsored. The state will have to take the responsibility”, the bench had said.