Ryan murder case: Accused bus conductor Ashok granted bail by district court; bond set at Rs 50,000

After the CBI failed to find any incriminating evidence against bus conductor Ashok Kumar in the murder of Ryan International School student Pradyuman Thakur, the Gurugram district court has granted him bail on a bond of Rs 50,000, media reports said on Tuesday.

On the other hand, the Punjab and Haryana High Court also granted anticipatory bail to the Pinto family, which owns the Ryan group.

File photo of Ashok Kumar, the school bus conductor. PTI

File photo of Ashok Kumar, the school bus conductor. PTI

According to CNN-News18, the Gurugram district court judge said on Tuesday that the CBI had given no evidence against the conductor.

The court could not find new grounds on which the bail could be opposed. However, CBI has maintained that they are not giving a clean chit to Ashok.

The court exonerated Ashok on Tuesday, saying it's a matter of life and death and granted the bail with a bond of Rs 50,000.

"The bail was granted under Article 21 of the Constitution. There were a lot of differences between findings of CBI and Haryana Police. We were given benefit of doubt," Ashok's lawyer, Anil Sharma, was quoted as saying by ANI.

After Tuesday's court session, Pradyuman's father Varun Thakur said that the family had trust in the Judiciary. "There are facts being considered to give my child justice," he told reporters.

An audio clip of Ashok's uncle talking to the accused Class XI student's family had recently surfaced on social media. On Tuesday, Varun said that the CBI was conducting an inquiry on it.

Speaking to CNN-News18, Varun's lawyer Sushil Tekhriwal said: "There was no incriminating evidence found against Ashok. In such circumstances, it becomes imperative for the court to take a view. We respect the decision." Tekhriwal criticised the circulation of audio clips as the CBI investigated the murder. "We have submitted audio with CBI to determine genuineness. Prima facie, it was very disturbing," he said.

After the court's decision, Ashok's father told reporters: "We are really happy that Ashok has been granted bail."

Meanwhile, the CBI summoned Ashok's uncle OP Chopra over the audio clip. Chopra admitted to having the conversation but denied having any knowledge about the family connection to the case. "I didn't know that it is the same family. He is from our village, which is why I asked him about who he is," Chopra told Times Now.

Last week, the CBI had opposed Ashok's bail plea, and sought additional time to gain more information to ascertain why he was arrested by the Haryana Police. The investigating agency, in a statement, had said that the bus conductor and the gardener of the school alleged that police 'coerced' them to repeat their version of the crime sequence and that they were also beaten up.

The arrest of a Class XI student, who confessed to the crime, paved the way for Ashok to seek bail.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Nov 21, 2017 17:43 PM

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