Nation

Ryan murder: School trustees seek anticipatory transit bail

September 11, 2017 11:28 PM

11 september 2017 -As the Ryan International School in Gurgaon comes under increasing scrutiny over the murder of a seven-year-old student on its premises , the group's trustees today approached the Bombay High Court, seeking an early hearing on their transit anticipatory bail application.

In the petition submitted to the court, 73-year-old Dr Augustine Francis Pinto and 62-year-old Grace Pinto have indicated that they fear getting arrested even before they can reach Haryana, which is where they must formally seek anticipatory bail.

The two are trustees of the Saint Xavier's Education Trust, which runs Ryan International Schools, and are also chairman and managing director, respectively, of the Ryan International Group of Institutions.  

Senior counsel Nitin Pradhan filed the petition on behalf of the Augustine Francis Pinto and Grace Pinto following a weekend of partially violent protests in Gurgaon. Angry parents on Sunday torched a liquor shop close to the Ryan International School in Gurgaon and demanded that action be taken against school management.

While Gurgaon Police have arrested and accused a bus conductor of killing seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur after attempting to sexually abuse the boy. Police today also placed under arrest two top officials of the Ryan group - Francis Thomas, the school's northern India head and Jeyus Thomas, coordinator and Human Resource (HR) head.

 On Sunday, Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said he had asked Gurgaon Police to book the top management of the Ryan group in connection with the boy's murder. It is this statement that seems to have prompted the two trustees to seek transit anticipatory bail.

"On September 10, 2017, the school trustees noticed a newspaper link on the internet and found some startling statements made by [the] political leadership of Haryana in connection with the sad incident of [the] murder of Pradyuman Thakur," the petition says.

Since the crime occurred in Gurgaon, the two can be given protection from arrest only by a Haryana court. However, the trustees can be arrested before they appear in front of a Haryana court, if the police so wish.

Accordingly, the petition states that while the trustees fear coercive action being taken by Gurgaon Police. The petition states that the trustees fear that the lieberties are at peril and so have approached the Bombay High Court for protection from arrest until they are able to approach an appropriate judicial authority in Haryana in order to seek anticipatory bail.

BOY's DEATH 'UNFORTUNATE'

While the trustees did not issue an official statement on Pradyuman Thakur's murder, the petition calls the seven-year-old's death "unfortunate." The death has caused deep pain and grief not just to the parents and family of the child but also to the  trustees, the school's staff and students, and other management, the petition states.

"This is not only the darkest hour [for] the family but [for] the institution also," the petition reads. "Such incident has taken place in the history of the trust in the last 40 years for the first time."

The petition says that the group takes "all necessary steps for security and well-being of the children" and claims that it was because the Gurgaon school had CCTV cameras installed that the murdered was identified.

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