Patna High Court told the CBI to give its reply in a sealed cover in the next hearing
The Patna High Court pulled up the CBI today for not submitting a progress report in the investigation into the Muzaffarpur shelter home rapes, and also sought to know from it why senior police officer, who was part of the probe team, was transferred.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Mukesh R Shah and Justice Ravi Ranjan directed the CBI to file its reply by the next date of hearing, August 27, and place it before the court in a sealed cover.
In its previous order on August 6, the court had directed the police officer and the CBI to appear before the court through a counsel and submit a report on the progress of the investigation.
The Superintendent of Police, JP Mishra, was shifted from the special crime branch and attached to the office of the DIG at Patna via an order passed by the CBI headquarters on August 21.
The court asked the probe agency to explain why Mr Mishra, who was the investigating officer in the case, was transferred.
Opposition parties in Bihar have criticised the reshuffle, alleging that it would harm the probe. The Patna High Court was monitoring the probe into the case at the government-funded home for girls at Muzaffarpur on the request of the Bihar government.
The court also expressed displeasure over leak of details of the investigation and asked the media to refrain from publishing them as it could be harm the investigtion.
The rapes of 34 girls over a period of time in the Muzaffarpur shelter home came to light after a social audit was conducted by the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
An FIR was subsequently filed by the Bihar social welfare department and 10 people, including prime accused Brajesh Thakur whose NGO ran the shelter home, were arrested.
However, following a huge outcry, the Nitish Kumar government handed over the probe to the CBI a month ago, which was followed by the resignation of social welfare minister Manju Verma a few days later.
On the previous hearing, the government had requested the high court to monitor the CBI probe and consider appointing a special judge for speedy trial. Both the requests had been accepted by the court.