THE TRUSTEES of the Ryan International Group of Institutions Tuesday failed to get any relief from Punjab and Haryana High Court as Justice A B Chaudhari recused himself from hearing the anticipatory bail pleas moved by founding chairman of the group Augustine Pinto, managing director Grace Pinto and the group’s CEO Ryan Pinto. When the case came up from hearing Tuesday, Chaudhari said he knew the Pinto family personally and cannot hear the case. “Put up before some other Bench on 20.09.2017 after obtaining necessary orders from Honourable the Chief Justice,” said Chaudhari as soon as the case was called for hearing.
The case was then listed for hearing Wednesday before the single bench of Justice Inderjit Singh. The trustees, in their bail plea, have said the “basic tenets of criminal liability are not swept up in the name of sentiments of the community” and have alleged that an “unprecedented media blitz” has been unleashed in the case. “The petitioner apprehends that the investigating agencies may, under pressure from the wrath of public opinion, fail to fully appreciate and analyse the legal position. Notwithstanding the diabolical nature of the crime or the grave popular outcry, the ends of justice call for an objective evaluation of the circumstances,” they said in the plea, filed through senior lawyer R S Cheema and advocate Arshdeep Singh Cheema.
Haryana Additional Advocate General Deepak Sabharwal told The Indian Express that the Haryana government would oppose the anticipatory bail pleas. “Our contention is that how can they directly approach the High Court for bail,” said Sabharwal. Chandigarh Parents Association also intervened in the case Tuesday to oppose the bail pleas moved by the school trustees, saying the case involves a larger issue of children safety. “We will be opposing the bail plea as the management must be held liable for the incident. There have many previous incidents too which have gone unreported,” said advocate Arun Gupta, who is representing the association in the case.
Class II student Pradyuman Thakur was found with his throat slit inside a washroom of the Ryan International School, Bhondsi, on September 8. Police had registered an FIR under IPC Sector 302 (murder), Section 25 of the Arms Act and later Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act and Section 12 of the POCSO Act were added to it. The bail plea of Ryan International Group’s northern zone head Francis Thomas, who was arrested under the Juvenile Justice Act, will come up for hearing on September 25.