In the wake of the Muzaffarpur shelter home rapes case, the Supreme Court on Tuesday sought a response from Bihar government and the CBI over a Patna High Court order that gags the media from reporting the matter. The notice was issued by the apex court following a petition that was filed against the Patna High Court order, which bans media from reporting the case where over 30 girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused. Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta have sought a reply from the state government and the CBI on the matter. The court has posted the hearing of the matter for September 18.

The Patna High Court’s order to restrain media from reporting the case was challenged by a Patna-based journalist through advocate Fauzia Shakil. Earlier on August 29, the Patna HC informed the apex court that a lady advocate is to be appointed as an amicus in the case pending there. It was also said that the appointed lady will visit the place where the alleged victims have been kept homage and will interview them with an aim to provide a rehabilitation to them. However, the apex court stayed the appointment of the amicus.

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The matter came to light after the Bihar Social Welfare Department filed an FIR based on a social audit of the shelter home which was conducted by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. Following the incident, the NGO running the shelter home in the district was blacklisted and the girls residing there were shifted to other houses in Patna and Madhubani.

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