Hearing the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Bihar government to take steps to unite eight out of the 44 victims with their family members.

The order comes after Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS) project ‘Koshish’ submitted a report to the top court stating that eight out of the 44 girls were fit to be handed over to their families.

A bench headed by Justice NV Ramana further directed the state government to start processing the release of funds to the victims under Victim Compensation Scheme and take care of the overall aid for the victims – medical, educational, financial and development.

A total of 44 girls were victims in the shelter home abuse case, which is currently being probed by the CBI.

The apex court had in June granted three months time to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to complete the investigation into the Muzaffarpur shelter home case.

A vacation bench comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and MR Shah directed the CBI to also investigate allegations of unnatural sexual assault under section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and probe video recordings of the assault on girls at the shelter home.

The bench asked the probe agency to also investigate the role of outsiders who were involved and facilitated sexual assaults of inmates after administering them intoxicants.

Earlier in May, the top court had directed the agency to complete investigation into the case — in which 11 girls were allegedly murdered — within two weeks.

In a sensational revelation, the CBI had told the Supreme Court that 11 girls were allegedly murdered by key accused Brajesh Thakur and his accomplices and “bundle of bones” recovered from a burial ground.

At the shelter home in Muzaffarpur, at least 44 girls – aged seven to fourteen – were allegedly drugged, raped, forced to sleep naked and scalded with boiling water. Some of the girls were also forced to undergo an abortion.

The case came to light when the Bihar Social Welfare Department filed an FIR based on a social audit of the shelter home conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

The Supreme Court had in November last year transferred the investigation to the CBI after the Bihar government failed to handle the case with efficiency.