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Women In Shelter Home Allegedly Subjected To Immoral Acts After Being Sedated: Patna HC Takes Suo Moto Cognizance

Sparsh Upadhyay
2 Feb 2022 5:01 PM GMT
Women In Shelter Home Allegedly Subjected To Immoral Acts After Being Sedated: Patna HC Takes Suo Moto Cognizance
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The Patna High Court today took a suo moto cognizance in a matter wherein an inmate of a shelter home alleged that women were forced to submit themselves to "immoral acts" after being sedated.The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjoy Karol and Justice S. Kumar took a suo moto cognizance on the basis of recommendation made by the Juvenile Justice Monitoring Committee, Patna High Court, and sought...

The Patna High Court today took a suo moto cognizance in a matter wherein an inmate of a shelter home alleged that women were forced to submit themselves to "immoral acts" after being sedated.

The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjoy Karol and Justice S. Kumar took a suo moto cognizance on the basis of recommendation made by the Juvenile Justice Monitoring Committee, Patna High Court, and sought the reply of Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Social Welfare, Government of Bihar.

Essentially, the said Committee, while dealing with a News Paper report dated 31st of January, 2022, took serious note of affairs of Uttar Raksha Grih (After Care Home), Gai Ghat, Patna, where more than 260 females are housed.

The committee met and discussed the recent news items regarding a destitute woman, who had alleged that she and her likes who are residing in the After Care Home, Gaighat, Patna are being forced, after being sedated, to submit themselves to immoral acts of the wrong-doers.

She had also allegedly reported that the victims residing in the After Care Home are not provided with basic amenities of food and bedding and many of them are not even permitted to leave the Home.

Another shocking disclosure had been made by her that strangers are permitted to masquerade as relatives of the victims who come and pick up such hapless women to put their lives and dignity in further peril.

Importantly, the committee has also observed thus: 

"The aforesaid news item in a couple of newspapers is yet again societal/collective failure and shame in not containing such offences even after this State and the nation had read about the happenings in Balika Grih, Muzaffarpur. What is rather surprising for us to note is that no FIR has been registered on such disclosure of the victim. Even more surprising is that the Director of Social Welfare Department has conducted an inquiry and only on the basis of the CCTV  footage installed in the After Care Home has come to the conclusion that the accusation made by the so-called victim is baseless and false. It does not appear that any inquiry was made with the victim girl and such opinion has been arrived at only by seeing the footage of CCTV camera."

However, the Court refrain from issuing any directions and asked the Bihar Government to examine the matter and file the action taken report on the next date, not only in relation to the observations of the Juvenile Justice Monitoring Committee but also the news reports published both in print and electronic media.

The Court also directed the concerned officer to ensure that the recommendations of the Committee are also implemented forthwith. With this, the matter has now been posted for further hearing on February 7, 2022.

Case title - In the matter of newspaper report dated 01.02.2022 relating to after Care Home v. The State of Bihar & Ors.

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