Patna: A special court on the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO) on Saturday ordered a CBI probe against Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar in connection with the Bihar shelter home rape cases.
The court also ordered an inquiry against Muzzaffarpur district magistrate Dharmendra Singh and principal secretary of Social Welfare Atul Prasad.
The court in Patna passed the order on an application filed by an accused, Ashwani, a self-styled medical practitioner who allegedly used to inject the home’s inmates with sedatives before they were subject to sexual abuse.
Ashwani had alleged in his petition that the CBI was “suppressing facts” in course of the investigation which would come to light if the roles of the above three were probed. POCSO judge Manoj Kumar directed the CBI to conduct an inquiry against the three.
Earlier, rebuking the Nitish Kumar government for not submitting details of shelter homes in Bihar, the Supreme Court had on February 7 transferred the trial into the sexual abuse of inmates at the Muzaffarpur home to the Saket court in New Delhi.
A bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, said the cases should be transferred from the Bihar CBI court to a POCSO Saket trial court within two weeks. It ordered the Saket trial court to conclude the trial within six months.
The apex court also rapped the CBI for transferring its officer probing the sexual assault case and said it amounted to a violation of its order. A bench asked the investigating agency to file an affidavit giving an explanation.
Expressing lack of faith in the state government, CJI Gogoi had said, “”Enough is enough. Children cannot be treated like this. You cannot let your officers treat children this way. Spare the children.”
In November last year, the Supreme Court had transferred 16 cases related to the sexual and mental exploitation of children in Bihar shelter homes to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The court had then asked CBI to file a status report by January 31.
The CBI is already probing the Muzaffarpur shelter home case. The court has now said the trial should be completed in 6 months and no extension of time should be sought.
The Supreme Court bench said the Bihar chief secretary will be summoned if the lawyer representing the state can’t answer the court’s questions.