New Delhi, Aug 7: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought to know from the Centre the steps proposed to be taken to check sexual abuse of minors in shelter homes across the country. The apex court has also asked print, electronic and social media not to publish or display photos of victims of sexual abuse in any case. The Supreme Court went on to say that minor sex abuse victims should be interviewed only by members of NCPCR and SCPCRs in the presence of counsellors. It also said interviews of minor victims impact their mental health. (Also read: Don’t Focus on Just One Negative Incident, Says Nitish)Also Read - Centre Rushes COVID-19 Control Teams to 6 States Witnessing High Corona Cases
This follows the court’s taking suo motu cognisance of the alleged abuse of minor girls in Muzaffarpur shelter homes. The court had, last week, expressed concern over the identity of child rape victims being revealed by print and electronic media and said that even morphed picture should not be published. Also Read - COVID-19: Not Stopping High Courts But Can't Be Silent Spectator During a National Crisis, Says SC
It had then issued a notice to the state government and Centre seeking a detailed reply in the case. The medical examinations of 29 of the 42 shelter home inmates confirmed that they were sexually exploited. On Tuesday, the apex court also pulled up the Bihar government over the funding that the Muzaffarpur NGO got. It added that women were being raped “left, right and centre. ‘Who is giving money to the shelter home in the state?'” Also Read - 'Hai Teri Aukat': Doctor & Nurse at UP Hospital Get Into Ugly Fight, Slap And Abuse Each Other | Watch Video
Only yesterday, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi had expressed her anguish over the tales of horror emerging from shelter homes in Bihar and Deoria in UP. She said the way shelter homes have been neglected over the years, she knew there would be more such cases. “It’s not only frightening, it makes me sad. I know there will be many more because, for years and years, we have paid no attention, apart from giving them money,” she said, speaking to ANI.