The court asked, “The state’s attitude is extremely unfortunate and tragic to say the least. This is inhuman and shameless… A child is sodomized and the state does nothing. You don’t even care to register FIRs properly. There are 17 shelter homes where allegations of sexual abuse were cited. Why should each case not be investigated? Are these children lesser citizens of the country?”
SC further rebuked the state government by saying,”We were told that matter will be looked with great seriousness, this is seriousness? This file, it’s tragic.” The court also questioned the registration of FIRs only under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) and not under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The court also sought a personal affidavit from the chief secretary and is likely to hand over the probe to CBI.
The Muzaffarpur shelter home abuse case had hit headlines in July was only one of the 17 shelter homes covered in a TISS study. But criminal cases have only been registered against 10 shelter homes. In one case, TISS found sexual violence at a shelter home for boys but the FIR filed by the government does not include stringent penal code provisions such as sodomy. In another case, a child who refused to cook food suffered a three-inch long scar on his cheek. In both the cases, the police only filed a case under the juvenile justice law.
SC while expressing disgust over the matter said,“Only God can save.”