The Bombay High Court on Monday cancelled bail to the founder trustee of a school accused of sexually abusing a three-year-old girl. Setting aside the order of the sessions court that had granted bail to the founder trustee, the High Court directed the sessions court to complete the trial in the case within four months of the order. While the accused trustee’s lawyer contested the allegations, the court said: “No parent would put a three-year-old through this torture.” The court further said the case should, in fact, be expedited. If not, then “she (minor) would not even remember the incident.”
On May 7, 2017, the parents of the three-year-old girl had approached the MIDC police station alleging that the founder trustee of her school had sexually abused her in his office. The victim’s mother, in her statement to police, said the abuse affected the child and her behaviour changed. After several months of asking her the reason for increasing aloofness, the victim told her parents about the alleged sexual harassment.
The trustee, a French national, was arrested by the MIDC police on November 7 last year and he was granted bail on November 24 by the sessions court that said: “… Prima-facie, there is no incriminating evidence against the present applicant and the other co-accused.” Justice Revati Mohite Dere passed an order saying the order passed by the sessions court is “quashed and set aside. “The trustee will have to surrender immediately before a special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act court,” the High Court said.
Justice Dere said the order passed by the sessions court granting bail is perverse and the observation passed by the sessions court are contrary to the material with the court. When the trustee’s lawyer sought time to surrender, the court said: “There is no question of granting time to surrender to Respondent 1 (trustee).”
Justice Dere said based on the statements of the girl, her mother, other witnesses and the girl have identified the photograph of the trustee. “Prima-facie, there is sufficient evidence pointing towards complicity of Respondent 1.”