Bihar Guv asks Nitish to set up fast-track court

Bihar Guv asks Nitish to set up fast-track court

Urges Chief Justice of Bihar and Law Minister for support in speedy disposal of case

Malik lauded Kumar for his prompt action but asked him to develop a monitoring mechanism for shelter homes. PTI file photo.

Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik has asked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to set up fast-track courts so that cases like Muzaffarpur shelter home rape incidents could be speedily disposed of and the accused punished.

In a letter to Nitish as well as Chief Justice of Patna High Court Rajendra Menon and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Governor has written that the Muzaffarpur incident was “heart-rending” and a “slur on humanity”. Malik has urged the Chief Justice and the Law Minister to provide the required support to the State Government in the formation of fast-track courts for quick disposal of cases of exploitation of children and women in different shelter homes and short-stay homes in Bihar. “This will send a positive message that the guilty of such heinous acts will be punished without delay,” the Governor said.

Last month, at least 34 girls out of 44 inmates in a shelter home at Muzaffarpur – ‘Balika Grih’ - were found to have been sexually abused. All the victims were in the age group of seven and 18. Ten persons, including the prime accused Brajesh Thakur, who ran the NGO which looked after the shelter home, have been arrested.

The CBI took over the investigation of the case after Nitish gave his approval for a probe by the premier investigating agency.

The Governor, in his missive to Nitish, has lauded the Chief Minister for his prompt action but asked him to “develop an institutional mechanism for strict monitoring of such shelter homes.” He also called for the implementation of recommendations made by the Tata Institute of Social sciences (TISS).

The Bihar Government had roped in TISS for social audit of such shelter homes earlier this year. It was only after the audit, carried out by the TISS, that such reports of sexual exploitation of girls came to the fore.

The TISS team, which took stock of the various shelter homes as well as short-stay homes in different districts, was more scathing about Muzaffarpur Balika Grih “The girls’ children home in Muzaffarpur was found by us to be running in a highly questionable manner along with grave instances of violence... several girls reported about violence and being abused sexually.....The girls had no access to any sort of open space and were literally locked up in their wards except for when they went to the dining hall to take their meals,” the TISS report said.

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