Bombay HC rejects Pintos' relief plea, but bars arrest till 5pm today

Days after the Gurgaon police claimed to have solved the gruesome murder of seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur on the premises of Ryan International School's Bhondsi campus, accused bus conductor Ashok Kumar has now said that he did not commit the crime and that the police tortured him to extract a confession out of him.

Rejecting the anticipatory transit bail plea, the high court hearing the Ryan student murder case on Thursday ordered Ryan International founder Augustine Francis Pinto, his wife and managing director of the group Grace Pinto and their son and group CEO Ryan Pinto to submit their passports to the court, barring them from leaving the country.

But, the Bombay High Court will give Augustine Pinto, Grace Pinto and Ryan Pinto interim protection from arrest till Friday.

The court, however, granted an extension of stay on remand for 24 hours on the condition that the Pintos deposit their passports with the police commissioner by 9 pm on Thursday. The application was filed in the high court registry and later in the afternoon, Justice Gadkari heard the anticipatory bail pleas of the Pintos. The Pintos had approached the HC, through their advocate Niteen Pradhan, seeking transit anticipatory bail and relief from arrest till they approach an appropriate court in Haryana. "The interim relief granted to them shall continue till tomorrow [Friday] 5 p.m.", the judge said.

High Court rejects anticipatory bail of Ryan International School trustees Augustine, Grace and Ryan Pinto

The plea was strongly opposed by Additional Public Prosecutor Aruna S.K. Pai, who strongly argued on points of law and how the issue of no provision for anticipatory transit bail application had been settled by the Supreme Court.

The boy was found dead with his throat slit inside a toilet of the school on September 8.

However, the Bombay HC had on Thurday rejected their bail plea. Thakur alleged in his application that the school's trustees were "vicariously responsible, liable, accountable, answerable for the culpability and guilt for which the bail application should be dismissed in limine (at the threshold)". Two other officials of the school have also been taken into custody. Ryan Pinto's statements become vital as the school faces a criminal case for negligence.

Vanessa Coleman

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