The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the Bihar police and the state government for imposing 'minimum offence' charges in the sexual abuse cases reported in 14 shelter homes in the state.
NDTV quoted a three-judge bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur, Deepak Gupta and Abdul Nazeer as saying "The Bihar government has registered only for minimum offence. If you haven't registered FIR on 377, then how will you investigate?... Are we doing any favour to these children? Are they not citizens of this country."
The court also criticised the state government in Bihar led by chief minister Nitish Kumar, calling "shameful" that government had not taken much action.
The Indian Express quoted the bench as saying "What are you doing? It's shameful. If the child is sodomised you say it's nothing? How can you do this? It's inhuman. We were told that matter will be looked with great seriousness, this is seriousness? Every time I read this file it's tragic."
The court made the comments while hearing a plea filed by journalist Nivedita Jha through advocate Fauzia Shakil last week, seeking "registration of FIR and independent investigations or court monitored probe into the affairs of these 14 (other) shelter homes in Bihar mentioned in the TISS [ The Tata Institute of Social Science] report".
TISS report, PTI said, was submitted to the Bihar government and it has highlighted gross violations of human rights of inmates in 15 shelter homes in the state, including the Muzaffarpur shelter, that is investigated by the CBI.
The plea had alleged that the Bihar government had not conducted any probe into the allegations of irregularities, sexual and physical abuse in the 14 shelter homes highlighted in the TISS report.
(With inputs from PTI)