Synopsis: 7-year-old Pradyuman Thakur was found dead inside the toilet of the Ryan International School, Gurugram, with his throat slit on Sept 8, 2017.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court dismissed a juvenile ‘s regular bail plea in the 2017 murder of a 7-year-old boy at Ryan International School, Gurugram.
The petition which had challenged the Punjab and Haryana High Court order was rejected by a three judge bench led by Justice R F Nariman.
The court, which also includes judges Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee, said that it have exhaustively heard lawyers representing both the sides and experienced attorneys working on the complainant’s behalf. As the appellant is now only being charged as an adult for bail purposes, at this point it see no need to conflict with the High Court’s impugned judgement. The Special Leave Petition was therefore, been rejected.
The CBI resisted the bail plea saying the accused deserves no leniency and argued that the act of juvenile justice must not be used as a tool for duping the path of justice.
The accused had claimed before the top court that the high court had erroneously concluded that witness intimidation in the case is possible. He said that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the likelihood of beginning studies in the near future is much smaller.
Advocate Sushil Tekriwal, who appeared for the father of the victim, also opposed the bail plea saying that the accused is a serious threat if released on bail and there is a possibility the proof will be fabricated.
In June, the Punjab and Haryana high court had rejected the boy’s bail plea.
The high court had said in its order that the court is not inclined to grant any relief to the petitioner, having regard to the order of 28 February 2019 passed by the Supreme Court (SC), stating that the petitioner should be treated as a ‘adult’ in deciding the bail application; therefore, there is little scope for this court to determine whether the petitioner could be granted relief under Section 12 of the Juvenie Justice Act.
The CBI, in an charge sheet, alleged that on 8 September 2017 the teenager murdered the student in an attempt to postpone the examinations and that a scheduled parent-teacher meeting can be retained.
The victim’s body was found in the school washroom at the Bhondsi area in Gurgaon, with the throat slit.
The court had previously barred the media from using the name of the 16-year-old accused juvenile in the case and asked it to use fictitious names instead.
While the seven-year-old victim was named “Prince” by the court, the juvenile accused was named “Bholu” and the school was referred to as “Vidyalaya”.
The probe agency had previously given school bus driver Ashok Kumar a clean chit, who was arrested by Gurgaon Police, saying there was no evidence to prove his involvement with the crime.
On 22 September 2017, the CBI took up the case from the Gurgaon police following a nationwide uproar over the gruesome killing.