Welcome shift: on Muzaffarpur shelter home trial

 

 

 

Welcome shift: on Muzaffarpur shelter home trial

The transfer of the Muzaffarpur shelter home trial to Delhi is a major step towards justice
The Supreme Court’s order transferring(स्थानांतरित करना) the trial in the Muzaffarpur shelter home(आश्रय गृह) case from Bihar to a court in Delhi is a welcome intervention(हस्तक्षेप ) to ensure(सुनिश्चित ) justice for the children who were sexually exploited(यौन शोषण किया गया।). The Central Bureau of Investigation had argued(तर्क करना) that the trial would not be fair if it was held in Muzaffarpur. In shifting it to a court notified under the Protection(संरक्षण ) of Children from Sexual Offences(अपराध) Act at Saket in Delhi, the apex court has once again demonstrated(साबित) its lack(कमी) of confidence(आत्मविश्वास ) in the Bihar government. It had transferred the investigation from the State police to the CBI. Later, it asked the agency to take over the probe(जांच/छानबीन) in respect of 16 other shelter homes for children, destitute(बेसहारा/निःसहाय) women and senior citizens. These interventions had become necessary(ज़रूरी/आवश्यक), given the apparent apathy(उदासीनता) of the authorities in Bihar even after horrific(भयावह/भीषण ) instances(उदाहरणों/घटना) of physical and sexual exploitation came to light last year. The Bihar government asked the Tata Institute of Social Sciences to audit the short-stay and shelter homes, run by non-governmental organisations(संगठनों) but funded by the government. Last year, TISS came up with a damning(नुकसानदायक /घातक) report on the unsafe conditions in which children were staying in many shelter homes. The Muzaffarpur home was among the worst: many girls reported physical and sexual violence(हिंसा/क्रूरता). More than 30 girls below 17 have been sexually assaulted(हमला किया।/धावा करना).

However, the subsequent(आगामी/बाद की) response(प्रतिक्रिया) of the State government has not inspired much confidence. Apart from some officials being suspended, and some of those involved(फंसा हुआ/लिप्त) arrested, the State government did not have much to show as stringent action(कठोर कार्रवाई ). Its response came under adverse(प्रतिकूल /विपरीत) scrutiny(जांच). A Bench of the Supreme Court found that 11 FIRs mentioned(उल्लेख किया/वर्णित) only minor offences, that is, “the least serious” of the offences involved. In the Muzaffarpur case, the court took note of the clout of Brajesh Thakur, whose NGO ran the shelter home concerned(चिंतित/संबंधित). The girls in the shelter identified Chandrasekhar Verma, the husband of former Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma, as a frequent(लगातार ) visitor. The Verma couple later surrendered(आत्मसमर्पण) to the authorities. It is disquieting(बेचैन/अशांत) and significant that the court had to order Thakur’s transfer to a prison(जेल /क़ैद करना) in Patiala to prevent(रोकने ) him from exerting(दबाव) his influence(प्रभाव /शक्ति) on the authorities in Bihar. The court is also separately(अलग से) monitoring(निगरानी ) the functioning of child care homes in Bihar. Meanwhile, it is high time that States bestowed(प्रदान करना) sufficient(पर्याप्त/उचित ) attention(ध्यान) to such institutions. A recent Central government committee report highlighted the shocking inadequacies(अपर्याप्तता ) in the facilities(सुविधाओं ) available at most child care institutions and homes. There is a strong case for a systematic(व्यवस्थित ) scrutiny to be taken up on an urgent(तत्काल ) basis to address the problem.

 

 

Important Vocabulary

1. Transferring(स्थानांतरित करना)
Synonyms: assign, bring, carry, cede, change
Antonyms: fail, fight, fix, hold, hold back

2. Inadequacies(अपर्याप्तता )
Synonyms: dearth, deficiency, failing, flaw, imperfection
Antonyms: abundance, advantage, perfection, plenty, strength

3. Lack(कमी)
Synonyms: absence, dearth, inadequacy, loss, paucity
Antonyms: abundance, affluence, enough, excess, plenty

4. Confidence(आत्मविश्वास )
Synonyms: assurance, certainty, courage, determination, morale
Antonyms: doubt, fear, hesitation, irresolution, uncertainty

5. Probe(जांच/छानबीन)
Synonyms: examination, exploration, inquest, inquiry, research

6. Destitute(बेसहारा/निःसहाय
Synonyms: bankrupt, exhausted, impoverished, indigent, insolvent
Antonyms: affluent, rich, solvent, wealthy, lucky

7. Instances(उदाहरणों/घटना)
Synonyms: detail, example, item, occasion, occurrence

8. Horrific(भयावह/भीषण
Synonyms: abominable, appalling, awful, cruel, disgusting

9. Violence(हिंसा/क्रूरता).
Synonyms: assault, attack, bloodshed, brutality, clash
Antonyms: calm, health, kindness, method, niceness

10. Subsequent(आगामी/बाद की)
Synonyms: consecutive, consequent, ensuing, following, successive
Antonyms: preceding, anteceent, earlier, former, previous

11. disquieting(बेचैन/अशांत)
Synonyms: annoying, bothersome, disconcerting, distressing, disturbing

12. Influence(प्रभाव /शक्ति)
Synonyms: clout, consequence, control, domination, effect
Antonyms: beginning, cause, commencement, insignificance, origin

13. Exerting(दबाव
Synonyms: apply, bring to bear, exercise, expend, strive
Antonyms: conceal, hide, idle, ignore, laze

14. Bestowed(प्रदान करना)
Synonyms: bequeath, confer, donate, entrust, grant
Antonyms: take, deny, keep, refuse, withhold


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The transfer of the Muzaffarpur shelter home trial to Delhi is a major step towards justice
The Supreme Court’s order transferring the trial in the Muzaffarpur shelter home case from Bihar to a court in Delhi is a welcome intervention to ensure justice for the children who were sexually exploited. The Central Bureau of Investigation had argued that the trial would not be fair if it was held in Muzaffarpur. In shifting it to a court notified under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act at Saket in Delhi, the apex court has once again demonstrated its lack of confidence in the Bihar government. It had transferred the investigation from the State police to the CBI. Later, it asked the agency to take over the probe in respect of 16 other shelter homes for children, destitute women and senior citizens. These interventions had become necessary, given the apparent apathy of the authorities in Bihar even after horrific instances of physical and sexual exploitation came to light last year. The Bihar government asked the Tata Institute of Social Sciences to audit the short-stay and shelter homes, run by non-governmental organisations but funded by the government. Last year, TISS came up with a damning report on the unsafe conditions in which children were staying in many shelter homes. The Muzaffarpur home was among the worst: many girls reported physical and sexual violence. More than 30 girls below 17 have been sexually assaulted.

However, the subsequent response of the State government has not inspired much confidence. Apart from some officials being suspended, and some of those involved arrested, the State government did not have much to show as stringent action. Its response came under adverse scrutiny. A Bench of the Supreme Court found that 11 FIRs mentioned only minor offences, that is, “the least serious” of the offences involved. In the Muzaffarpur case, the court took note of the clout of Brajesh Thakur, whose NGO ran the shelter home concerned. The girls in the shelter identified Chandrasekhar Verma, the husband of former Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma, as a frequent visitor. The Verma couple later surrendered to the authorities. It is disquieting and significant that the court had to order Thakur’s transfer to a prison in Patiala to prevent him from exerting his influence on the authorities in Bihar. The court is also separately monitoring the functioning of child care homes in Bihar. Meanwhile, it is high time that States bestowed sufficient attention to such institutions. A recent Central government committee report highlighted the shocking inadequacies in the facilities available at most child care institutions and homes. There is a strong case for a systematic scrutiny to be taken up on an urgent basis to address the problem.

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