Ryan trustees must go behind bars, says NGO
Mumbai: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".
Chairman Birbal Jha of Mithilalok Foundation, 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.
"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 High Court in Chandigarh 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 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, which they complied.
According to school sources, Augustine F. Pinto, 73, is reportedly ill with multiple ailments, including Alzheimer's disease.
When the crises erupted, the family was busy preparing for the upcoming wedding of British-educated Ryan Pinto, who got engaged in a lavish ceremony to a choir singer in December here.
This is the first time in their four decades in the education sector that the trustees suffered a major setback in the murder case of Pradhuman Thakur, who was found with his throat slit inside the Gurugram school washroom on September 8.
In the Bombay High Court, 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 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 the 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.