Refusing to grant relief to one of the accused in the infamous Nari Niketan rape case,the Punjab and Haryana High Court last week turned down the bail application of Bhupinder Singh,a security guard at the Nari Niketan,Sector 26.
Challenging the 10-year imprisonment awarded to him,Bhupinder Singh had approached the High Court. His petition has been admitted by the High Court. Co-accused Maya has also challenged her conviction. Her petition has also been admitted.
Bhupinder Singh was the first to be arrested in the case. He has been in custody since 2010. Pleading innocence,he had approached the High Court seeking bail. Showing little conviction,the High Court refused to release him on bail.
On April 10 this year,a lower court of Chandigarh had awarded 10-year imprisonment to all the nine accused in the case,terming them monsters. The court had held them guilty of raping a mentally retarded inmate of the Nari Niketan.
Pronouncing the verdict,the court of UT additional district and sessions judge Preeti Sahni had termed the act,which came to light after the victim was found pregnant,a matter of great shame. The persons who were entrusted with the duty of looking after such fellows,became monsters and took advantage of their positions,and thereby ravished the poor,helpless and mentally retarded girl, the judgment had read.
The case surfaced in 2009 after the girl was found pregnant at Ashreya,a home for the mentally challenged in Sector 47. But since she was into the third month of pregnancy by May 16 the day the pregnancy was detected it was established that it was the result of rape during her earlier stay at Nari Niketan.
The victim later named the accused,including staff of Nari Niketan and Ashreya,when counselled by Pragati Pandey,superintendent of Ashreya,who is the complainant in the case. The victim has since given birth to a baby girl after the Supreme Court rejected a plea to terminate her pregnancy.
Those pronounced guilty include seven men who raped the girl at the two shelter homes Chhotu Ram,32,a security guard at Ashreya,who was found to be the biological father of the baby; Bhupinder Singh,25,a security guard on the Nari Niketan campus; Davinder Singh,24,an attendant at the male wing of Ashreya; Jamna Kumar Rana,52,the security guard who manned the main gate of Nari Niketan; Bijender Singh,38,watchman at the Nari Niketan; Bhagwandeen Yadav,31,an attendant at Ashreya; and Naresh Kumar,30,a driver at Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children (GMRC),Sector 32. The two women convicts worked at Nari Niketan 40-year-old Kamla,a sweeper-cum-attendant,and 38-year-old Maya,a nurse-cum-attendant who maintained health records of the inmates.