A day after the Bombay High Court rejected the anticipatory transit bail plea of Ryan International Schools’ trustees, an NGO fighting for students said on Friday that “the trustees must be put behind bars to set an example”.
Mithilalok Foundation Chairman Birbal Jha, which is providing legal assistance to the family of the seven-year-old student who was murdered on September 8 in the school’s Gurugram branch, said legal teams were ready in New Delhi and Chandigarh to challenge the anticipatory bail applications of the trustees, likely to come up later on Friday.
“The Bombay High Court has given interim stay on their arrests till 5 p.m. today. Hence, the trustees may approach the Supreme Court or the Chandigarh High Court for relief.
“Our lawyers are stationed at both the courts. We shall spare no efforts to ensure the trustees go behind bars to set an example,” Jha told IANS.
The Bombay High Court had on Thursday dismissed the anticipatory transit bail plea of the school trustees but granted a conditional interim stay on their arrest till Friday 5 p.m.
The trustees — Augustine F. Pinto, his wife Grace and their son Ryan — were ordered by Justice A.S. Gadkari to deposit their passports with the Mumbai Police by 9 p.m. on Thursday, failing which the interim protection would not be given.
They complied with the order, deposited their passports with Mumbai Police and left for New Delhi.
According to the school sources, Augustine F. Pinto, 73, is reportedly ill with multiple ailments, including Alzheimer’s disease.
This is the first time the trustees have suffered a major setback in the murder case of Pradhuman Thakur. The child was found with his throat slit inside the school washroom last week within an hour after his father dropped him.
However, independent legal experts opine that in case they fail to get relief, the Pintos would be required to surrender before the police by 5 p.m. or face arrest.
Besides, the victim’s father, Barun Chandra Thakur, who intervened through his lawyers Sushil K. Tekriwal and Mamta Tekriwal, the Parents Group for Students Welfare lawyer Manoj Dhall and the Ambedkar Students Association through lawyer Gunratan Sadavarte also strongly opposed the Pintos’ anticipatory transit bail application.
Earlier this week, a Haryana Police team questioned several staffers and managers at the school headquarters here in Kandivali and examined documents and records.
The case has snowballed into a major national issue concerning safety and security of children in private schools, with vociferous protests by parents and activists outside the Ryan schools in several states including Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.