Mumbai Toddler Rape Case: SC gives Andheri school trustee 3 days to surrender
Apex court dismisses special leave petition the rape accused French national had filed after Bombay High Court rejected his bail
The Andheri school trustee accused of sexually assaulting a three-year-old student cannot evade arrest anymore. On Friday, the Supreme Court dismissed a special leave petition filed by the trustee and asked him to surrender before the concerned authorities within three days.
On April 2, the Bombay High Court had rejected the French national's bail and asked him to surrender, but he managed to approach the apex court and get a breather from arrest until April 13. He is not allowed to go to the school. Speaking on the matter, the child's counsel Vijay Hiremath told that the alleged accused has got three days to surrender, and if he fails to do so, the police will arrest him. ACP Milind Khetle confirmed the same and told mid-day the police will keep a close eye on the alleged accused for these three days.
Another trustee who is currently in-charge of the school said, "This is entirely shocking, given the facts of the case. This is a trial by fire for the accused. But I haven't lost faith in the judiciary and am convinced he will come out clean." The three-year-old's mother told mid-day that she will continue fighting the case.
Parents continue to support
Meanwhile, SC disapproved an intervention filed by around 350 parents of former and current students in support of the trustee. A parent said, "We believe he's incapable of such an act and have full faith in him. We are a strong parent community and will stand by the school." Another supporting parent said more than 500 parents have signed letters of support for the school and the trustee.
A parent whose child is a classmate of the three-year-old said, "I have no doubt that it is a case of grave misunderstanding. It is interesting to note how selective and distorted facts have been highlighted. Unfortunately, the complainants claim influence is being exercised on the police but the flip-flop of the authorities is always in favor of the complainants; doesn't that show who is applying the influence?"
A former teacher said, "We know the trustee well. He has a spotless reputation and is one of the main people responsible for the wonderful education of hundreds of children. He and the school have cooperated with the investigation and we are sure that truth shall prevail."
SC order not a surprise
A parents supporting the three-year-old said, "SC upholding the HC order isn't a surprise for us. We have been more disturbed and surprised by police and school management's inaction in this case. Even now, the authorities who should have handled this appropriately are hiding behind support groups. Our fight is against the apathy that the system has shown towards a three-year- old. And we will continue to fight for her and her parents."
"The parents who are supporting the trustee are implicitly calling a three-year-old a liar. They are doubting a mother's quest for fair justice. What can anyone say to such a group to wake them up?" said a parent.
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