TISS in its social audit had exposed the rampant abuse of minor girls at the shelter home in Muzaffarpur, Bihar.
The Centre informed the Bench, headed by Justice NV Ramana, it was in the process of finalising child protection, specifically to address the rise in cases of sexual abuse of children.
The Bihar government had filed an application seeking permission to unite the 44 children with their respective families. It told the court children staying at childcare institutions had become aggressive and handing their custody to their families might work in their favour.
Advocate Aparna Bhat, assisting the court as amicus curiae, informed the court the trial was on and the CBI was investigating the conspiracy behind the murder of children and the scope of outsiders’ involvement in the crime.
Handing the custody of these children to their families might not work in their favour, she said. “The accused in the case can establish contact with their families,” she said indicating that it was not favourable for the trial.
Advocate Vrinda Grover, representing TISS, informed the court a rehabilitation scheme was discussed at a meeting of the UNICEF, the state social welfare department, Koshish and others. “We need individual discussions with 44 children and develop a rehabilitation plan in the interest of each child. We also need to hold discussions with their families,” said Grover.
The court said Koshish would interact with children and their families and submit a report in in four weeks. The Bench asked counsels to find a way to resolve this problem.
According to victims’ statements, three children were killed and the CBI also exhumed skeletons during the probe, Bhat said.