SC refuses cancellation of Ryan International owners anticipatory bail

Published on 12 Dec 2017 by Team

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The Supreme Court today dismissed a challenge to the Punjab & Haryana High Court's order granting anticipatory bail to the owners of Ryan International School.

The Bench of Justices RK Agrawal and AM Sapre pronounced its order today in an appeal filed by Barun Chandra Thakur. The Court had reserved judgment on December 7.

Appearing for the owners of Ryan International School, a team from Karanjawala & Co led by Partner Sandeep Kapur (along with Niharika Karanjawala, Apoorva Pandey and Kashyap Gudipati), argued that the CBI had not levelled any allegations against their clients Augustine Francis, Grace and Ryan Pinto, and that there was no evidence to suggest their involvement in the murder of the seven-year-old student.

The appellant, on the other hand, had alleged that the Pintos had concealed material facts when they approached the Punjab & Haryana High Court seeking anticipatory bail. Further, it was contended that they ought to have approached the Sessions Court before going to the High Court.

However, the Bench found no merit in this argument. The order states,

“Further, we cannot lose sight of the fact that this incident had received wide coverage in the media, both electronic and print. In fact, it can be said that there was a trial by media, therefore, when the private respondents have directly approached the High Court for grant of anticipatory/interim bail under Section 438 of the Code, that too when the High Court has concurrent jurisdiction, we cannot find any fault with the action of the private respondents.”

While dismissing the appeal, the Court held,

“Thus, as on date, the CBI is yet to examine and analyse the role of the private respondents in this case and there is no evidence of their complicity in the crime and there is not even a pointer of involvement of respondents herein in the alleged crime. Their involvement cannot be established until and unless, there is some substantial evidence against them…Therefore, the order passed by learned single Judge granting interim bail to the answering respondents till the presentation of Challan cannot be faulted with.”

After the Bombay High Court had dismissed their anticipatory bail applications, the Pintos had approached the Punjab & Haryana High Court, which granted them the same on November 21, based on a number of conditions.

The case was earlier marred by controversy after the Bar Association of Sohna passed a resolution barring local lawyers from providing representation to the person accused of murdering the seven-year-old Ryan International student.

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