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Pune school bus rape case: School principal, director, get bail

The court said that the two had not abetted the crime in any way, but the prosecution plans to challenge the verdict in Bombay High Court

In a big blow to the prosecution, Special Judge SD Darne confirmed the bail of principal and director of a Wanawadi-based English medium school yesterday, in the case of an 11-year-old schoolgirl’s rape in a school bus last year by the driver and attendant.

The court rejected the prosecution’s proposition that the principal and director had abetted the crime and said that the two suspects committed no acts of omission before or after the offence was reported. The prosecution has now decided to challenge this order in the Bombay High Court.

Advocate S K Jain, the counsel for the school principal and director, said, “The court has fully confirmed the bail. The honourable court has set conditions of furnishing surety of Rs 20,000 and attendance in the Wanawadi police station every Tuesday and Friday between 2 and 5 pm.”

“The court has rejected the proposition of the prosecution that the principal and director had abetted the crime by not taking any action against the driver and attendant who had committed the crime.

The court upheld that in this case, there was no case of abetment as per section 107 of Indian Penal Code or section 16 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act” said Jain.

“The principal and director have not indulged in any acts of commission, either prior to or after the offence was reported, the court has observed,” he added.

Advocate Milind Pawar, counsel for the victim’s parents, said, “We had presented several evidences to the court against the principal and director of the school. However, the court has granted them conditional bail. I had not received the copy of the court order yet, but we will challenge this order in the Bombay High Court in a week’s time.”

The case

Wanawadi police had arrested the school bus driver Kamaruddin Gayasuddin Shaikh (52) and attendant Khalid Mohammed Pathan (29), both residents of Sayyadnagar in Hadapsar, on charges of raping an 11-year-old girl student in their bus at Sayyadnagar in October 2013. They are currently lodged in the Yerawada jail. Parents of children studying in the school had protested at the school premises, demanding action against the school principal and director for alleged lapses on their part to inform the police about the rape incident. Wanawadi police had booked the principal and director on charges of abetting the crime, but fearing arrest, the two had secured interim anticipatory bail from the court a few days ago.

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