New Delhi, Aug 14: Expressing concern over sexual abuse of children living in shelter homes across the country, the Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the Centre, asking it what action was being taken in the case of 1,575 minor victims. Also Read - India to be Renamed 'Bharat'? Twitter Uses Harpic as Eyedrop to Undo Watching News, Asks Supreme Court to Sort Priorities Amid COVID-19 And Migrant Crisis
Referring to the data placed before it by the Centre, a bench headed by Madan B Lokur observed that 1,575 children, including 286 boys, have been sexually or physically abused in the shelter homes in different parts of the country. Also Read - 'Close Your Legs': Judge's Advice to Woman, For Prevention of Sexual Assault, Costs Him His Job
Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that also comprised Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, that the government has informed the states about the abuse of 1,575 children last year itself. Also Read - States Should Not Charge Travel Fare From Migrants And Need to Provide Food, Water to Them, Says Supreme Court
“1,575 boys and girls are victims of sexual and physical abuse. What have you done about it? Which are the shelter homes where they are kept? What action the states have taken on this,” the apex court asked the ASG.
The ASG, in her reply, said that she would get instruction on this issue and get back to the court.
Appearing for the Bihar government, senior advocate Ranjit Kumar said that they have no objection if the social audit report of shelter homes in the state prepared by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) was made public. The bench directed the Bihar government to make the report public.
The Bihar government also told the court that three organisations, including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences Delhi, were already looking into the psycho-social aspect of the girls who were allegedly exploited sexually at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur.
Last week, the top court made a scathing observation and said that women and girls were getting raped “left, right and centre” across the country, as it cited the National Crime Records Bureau data on four such incidents being reported per day on an average and had stressed that action has to be taken stop such crimes.
Describing the Muzaffarpur shelter home abuse case as “horrific”, the supreme court pulled up the state government for funding such an institution without verifying its credentials.
(With PTI inputs)