NEW DELHI, March 13 (AGENCIES): A Delhi court Wednesday said it would pronounce on March 18 its order on framing of charges in the Muzaffarpur shelter home sexual assault case in which 21 accused have been chargesheeted by the CBI. Several girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused at an NGO-run shelter home in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, and the issue had come to light following a report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
An FIR was lodged in the case on May 31, 2018. Additional Sessions Judge Saurabh Kulshreshtha reserved the order on framing of charges after the concluding arguments from both the sides. During the arguments, the counsel appearing for one of the accused, Ashwani Kumar, said there were no direct allegations of sexual assault against him.
Kumar, an alleged close aide of prime accused Brajesh Thakur, was associated with Thakur’s NGO ‘Sewa Sankalp Aur Vikas Samiti’ as a doctor and he allegedly used to administer injections laced with sedatives to the girls at shelter home before they were subjected to sexual abuse. All the accused have denied the allegations levelled against them by the CBI and said there was not enough evidence to prosecute them. CBI had earlier claimed in the court that several girls were sexually assaulted in the shelter home and charges for the offences under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including Section 375 (rape) and POCSO Act were made out against the accused. On February 7, the Supreme Court had ordered transfer of case from Bihar to a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court in Saket District Court complex in Delhi and had said that trial in the case be concluded within six months by preferably holding day-to-day hearing.