Gurgaon school killing: Punjab and Haryana HC dismisses bail plea of accused 16-year-old student

Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court today dismissed the bail plea of a 16-year-old student, accused of killing a seven-year-old boy in a private school in Gurgaon. Justice Daya Chaudhary rejected the accused's submission that he deserved the benefit of statutory bail, on the ground that the Central Bureau of Investigation has failed to conclude its probe within the prescribed limit of 60 days. The judge held that the time period available to the investigating agency to complete the probe in the case would be 90 days and not 60 days.

File image of the Punjab Haryana High Court. Wikimedia commons

File image of the Punjab Haryana High Court. Wikimedia commons

The accused had challenged the 5 February order of a Gurgaon sessions court which had rejected his plea saying that the stage was not fit for granting bail. "In view of the facts and the law position..., it is apparent that the appellant is not entitled to be released on statutory/default bail as no indefeasible right has accrued to him under Section 167(2) CrPC and the present appeal being devoid of any merit is, hereby, dismissed," the court said. Section 167(2) CrPC provides that a court can extend the detention period of an accused for a term not exceeding 15 days.

Advocate Sushil Tekriwal, appearing for the victim, said the high court verdict vindicated their stand.  "The interpretation given by the high court in its historic verdict today that the sentence of life imprisonment can always be imposed on the accused and, hence, the charge sheet has to be filed in 90 days by the CBI," he said. "This is consistent with our contention in the high court while opposing the bail appeal of the accused involved in the heinous offence of murdering seven-year-old Bholu,” Tekriwal said. The victim's father also welcomed the high court order and said the juvenile would have been a threat to the society if he was granted bail.

On 21 May, the sessions court had held that the 16-year-old student would be tried as an adult in the murder case.  Upholding the decision of the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), the court had said the juvenile board took into consideration all the material placed before it to establish "the physical and mental capacity (of the accused) to commit the crime" and there was no need for any intervention. The accused had challenged the 20 December order of the JJB that had held that the teenager would be tried as an adult.

The CBI, in its charge sheet, had alleged that the teenager had murdered the student on 8 September, 2017 in a bid to get exams postponed and a scheduled parent-teacher meeting cancelled. The victim's body, with the throat slit, was found in the washroom of the school at the Bhondsi area of Gurgaon. The juvenile board had passed the order based on the sociological, psychological and physiological reports of the accused, who was a Class XI student.

The court had earlier granted time till 4 July to the CBI to file a supplementary charge sheet in the murder case. Earlier, the court had barred the media from using the name of the victim, the accused and the school and asked it to use fictitious names instead.

While the victim was named "Prince" by the court, the accused was named "Bholu" and the school was referred to as "Vidyalaya".

The probe agency had given a clean chit to school bus conductor Ashok Kumar, who was arrested by the Gurgaon Police, saying there was no evidence to prove his involvement in the crime. The CBI had taken up the case from the Gurgaon Police on 22 September, following a nationwide uproar over the killing.


Updated Date: Jul 15, 2018 20:10 PM

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