The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre to apprise it on steps proposed to prevent sexual abuse of minors in shelter homes across the country. Referring to the Muzaffarpur rape case, the Supreme Court also pulled up Bihar government for funding the NGO running the shelter home where girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused.
Cautioning the media against revealing the identity of minor victims, the top court asked print, electronic and those on social media to not publish or display photos of victims of sexual abuse in any case.
The court further said that minor victims of sexual abuse should not be interviewed as it would have serious mental impact. It, however, added that National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and SCPCR can interview them in the presence of counsellors.
The court expressed anguish over rising incidents of rape across the country, saying women were being raped “left, right and centre”. Referring to the data released by National Crime Records Bureau, it pointed that a woman was raped every six hours in India.
Meanwhile, the amicus curiae in the case told the court that no compensation had been paid to the alleged victims of Muzaffarpur shelter home.
Hearing the case of alleged rapes in Muzaffarpur shelter home, the top court also pulled up the Bihar government asking that how did the state allow "the horror homes to flourish". The court raised questions on how the government had no idea about the happenings despite funding the NGO since 2004. "Did you never think of doing any investigation there," the Supreme Court asked.
The court also asked Bihar government over what has it done to punish the guilty in the case. The government defended itself saying that their officers visited the shelter home but no one gave them any information about such a case then.