Patna: The Patna High Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of the rape of over 20 minor girls in a shelter home in Muzaffarpur and asked the state government to be ready with its explanation when the case comes up for hearing on Thursday.

The court took notice of media reports and fixed July 26 for further hearing in the case, a government lawyer said.

The sexual abuse came to light during a social audit by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

Last week, a medical examination of 44 inmates revealed that 21 were raped.