Following the allegations of physical and sexual abuse of children at several shelter homes, the Supreme Court on Tuesday termed as "very shameful" and "inhuman" the conduct of Bihar government.
It favoured a CBI investigation in these matters. In registering FIRs against the perpetrators, the state was very soft and very selective, said a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur. The bench asked the Bihar government whether these children were not the citizens of this country.
Despite there being allegations that children were sodomised at the shelter homes, why FIRs have not been lodged under section 377 (unnatural offences) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), asked apex court from the counsel appearing for the Bihar government.
"What are you doing? This is very shameful. You may have filed a detailed affidavit (in the court) but if a child is sodomised, you cannot say that it is nothing. How can you do this? This is inhuman," the bench, also comprising justices S A Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, told the state's counsel.
During the hearing, Justice Gupta observed, "Every time I read this file, I am hit by the tragedy of the case. It is tragic."
The bench said after going through the allegations and the manner in which state police was dealing with them, "We are of the view that the state police is not doing its job as is expected. We would like the CBI to deal with these allegations."
The counsel representing the CBI, which is already probing the Muzaffarpur shelter home case in Bihar where several women inmates were allegedly raped and sexually abused, said he would seek instructions on the issue by Wednesday.
"You take instructions. You (CBI) will have to investigate all this. It appears there is much more into it," the bench told the CBI's counsel orally and posted the matter for hearing on Wednesday.
The counsel appearing for Bihar assured the court that state would take all appropriate action in the matter and said they would rectify all the mistakes.
In the Muzaffarpur shelter home case, an FIR was lodged on May 31 against 11 people following the TISS report. The probe was later taken over by the CBI and so far, 17 people have been arrested.
(With PTI inputs)