IMPHAL | Aug 1: Family of late Babysana and JAC members today stormed Cheirap Court complex with the demand that Landhoni and her daughter must not be given bail. The angry protestors demanded that Landhoni be executed while raising allegations that she was responsible for the minor’s death.
Police blocked the protestors from the gate of Cheirap court complex, pushing them out. The protestors hurled eggs towards the police and into the court. To bring the situation under control, the police fired one tear gas bomb and dispersed the mob.
Session Judge, Imphal West rejected the pre-arrest bail application prayed submitted by principal, Standard Robarth Higher Secondary School, Pheiroijam Landhoni and coordinator, Pheiroijam Romita after hearing today.
As the investigation officer of SIT submitted the anticipatory bail objection report yesterday, the court heard the petitioner’s counsel and submission of additional PP. Section 302 IPC has been added to the case after it was handed over to SIT.
After bail hearing and perusal of the submission, the court rejected the bail as there are probable circumstances leading to the death of the minor and requires proper investigation. It was observed that the residential school has not catered to the guideline of the Supreme Court on child safety. It was further observed that the petitioners have been having control and supervision of the residential school where death of the minor occurred. At present stage, the custodial interrogation of the petitioners is required for proper investigation and collection of evidence. So, there is no ground to extend any anticipatory bail of both petitioners, the court stated.
The anticipatory bail was filed by Landhoni and coordinator of the school, her daughter, Pheiroijam Romita on July 21 two days after the minor was found dead inside the hostel.
Petitioners counsel submitted that the petitioner Landhoni has been serving the school since the year 1994 and second petitioner Romita has been serving the school since 2015 as a coordinator. On July 18, Babysana was allegedly found hanging from an iron bunk bar in the dormitory located on the first floor of the girls hostel.
Following the incident, different sections have been giving pressure to the state government while a joint action committee was also formed. Most of the pressure groups pointed their fingers at the school authorities hinting of foul play. In connection to the case, an FIR was registered under section 305/34IPC and section 77 of JJ Act was also added section 302.
It was submitted that the investigation is not going on in proper direction and the petitioners have been shown in the public as the accused. The nature of the case does not come under section 302IPC as death occurred in midst of 36 students in the same room, it was stated.
It was further submitted that there is no likelihood of tampering any prosecution evidence and that that custodial interrogation of the petitioners is not required. Section 305IPC and section 302IPC cannot stand together and no offence is made out against the petitioners, it was further submitted.
Additional PP submitted that the school is under control of principal and her family, and corporeal punishments were used to inflict the students while defying Supreme Court guidelines on child safety. It was noted that the petitioners are required to extract more clues in connection to the case.
It may be mentioned that that case is being handled by SIT and so far, school’s head warden Kamei Illen, warden, Jinnty and junior administrator of the school Pheiroijam Robinson who is son of Pheiroijam Landhoni have been arrested.
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