NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court has noted that due to total lack of security and management, women protection homes in Bihar are becoming homes for trafficking of girls and women.
A bench comprising Justices S P Sinha and Mukundakam Sharma requested the Chairman of Bihar Human Rights Commission to conduct an enquiry within six weeks into the circumstances leading to disappearance of four girls, including the daughter of the petitioner from Nari Suraksha Grah, Patna.
The apex court also directed the Chief Secretary of Bihar to submit a report within a same period with respect to maintenance and governance of the said protection home specifically indicating the security measures and steps being taken up in that regard.
The apex court further directed that the report should also indicate the reasons behind the inability of the police to trace out the missing girls and also status of the investigation.
The Judges expressed the hope that the report as aforesaid to be submitted by the Chairman and the Chief Secretary, would be a comprehensive report.
Justice Sharma writing an eleven-page judgment for the bench noted, “Having scrutinised all the records and having heard the learned counsel appearing for the parties, we are distressed to find that a minor victim girl, who was sent to the protection home by a judicial officer for providing home and safety went missing from the said home without the knowledge of the authority managing the said protection home.”
It is shocking that a home which is being run by the state authority and named Suraksha Home has practically no security and the inmates of the house either could be forcibly taken away or could run away from the said home easily and that also without the knowledge of the authority, the judgment noted.
“What is astonishing is the fact that such incidents are said to be a regular affair. It is unfortunate that although the police was informed immediately thereafter, the police did not even think it appropriate to swing into action immediately,” it added.
The apex court further said, “If the inmates of the protection home could flee away as alleged from the control of authority managing the home if persons could enter the said home at the dead of night without detection or permission and could take away girls under the nose of the people protecting the home, a lot of explanation would have to be given by the appropriate government a and the competent authority regarding there capability of offering proper care and protection to such girls and women.”
“Probably it is for such reasons that today these care and protection home are becoming homes for trafficking of girls and women.”
“It appear that the state government is totally oblivious of its responsibilities regarding implementation of social welfare programme of providing secured home to destitute women and also children in conflict with law,” it said.
“Considering the gravity of the situation and the protection we direct for conducting a proper and detailed enquiry into the whole episode and affair for we will like to enlighten not only about the functioning, management and security of the Nari Surasksha Grah, but also regarding whereabouts of the concerned girl and how she could go missing from the state home and as to who is responsible in helping the girl to flee away if it is so and consequential action taken by the police,” the apex court added.
The girl was allegedly kidnapped by her relatives to marry her on February 3, 2008. On recovery of the girl Chief Judicial Majistrate sent her to Protection home. Her father approached the High Court for her custody, but the High Court dismissed his petition. He approached the Supreme Court and the police allegedly took away his 16-year-old son and thereafter his son had not returned.