Eight parents from an international school in Andheri have filed an intervention application before the Bombay High Court, in a petition filed by the mother of a four-year-old girl, who had accused the founder trustee of the school of sexually abusing the minor in his office. The mother had moved the High Court last week for cancellation of the bail granted to the founder trustee on November 24, 2017 by the Dindoshi sessions court. The parents have intervened in the case “out of concern for the safety of their children and other students studying at the school.”
Calling it a serious matter, Justice Revati Mohite-Dere said she will hear the intervention application and the petition seeking the cancellation of bail on March 27.
On May 7, 2017, parents of a three-year-old girl had approached MIDC police station alleging that the founder trustee had sexually abused her in his office. The victim’s mother, in her statement to the police, said the abuse affected her daughter and her behaviour changed. After several months of asking her the reason for her increasing aloofness, the victim told her parents about the alleged sexual harassment.
The intervention application says that as soon as the founder trustee was released on bail, an email was circulated on December 8, 2017 to all the parents of the school, announcing that he has been granted bail and that he has resumed work in the school.
The application says, “In light of such serious offences, it is only as a matter of caution that the Respondent No.1 (founder trustee) should not be allowed to return to school. The applicants (parent), given the present situation, being parents of children as young as three years old, are worrying about the safety of their children.”
The parents stated that some of them had been communicating with the school authorities, raising their grievances and worrying about the presence of the trustee founder on the school premises. “The authorities at the school neither have satisfactorily resolved the concerns of the parents, nor have they reasonably assured the parents about the safety of their children,” the application said.
The parents have also written to the Deputy Director of Education and to the police raising the same concerns. “The applicants (parents) state that they feel unsafe to send their children to school knowing well that the school is visited by the Respondent No.1,” the application states.
The application further states, “..they (parents) are not in a position to change the school of their children at this stage as it’s not only a financial burden but is completely uprooting the children from their roots and friends and teachers with whom they have created a bond. Sending the children to another school for no fault of theirs will be a traumatic experience for