Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Friday granted anticipatory bail to a school counsellor who had allegedly failed to report the alleged molestation of a 14-year-old student by the principal of a school in Pune. According to the prosecution, the principal had allegedly shown the victim adult video clip on his mobile at his chamber and second time in the staff room and had allegedly also touched her body inappropriately.
Advocate Lakshmi Raman on behalf of the school counsellor had contended before the court that the applicant is innocent and has not done any criminal act. She argued that even if the story of prosecution is accepted as the gospel truth the role attributed to the applicant falls under bailable offence. However, the Sessions judge in Pune mechanically rejected the prearrest bail application just because sections of Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) have been applied against the applicant.
Advocate Raman also argued before Justice Anuja Prabhudessai that the applicant didn’t suppress the incident as alleged by the prosecution. The court was informed that the counsellor had given her statement to a committee that was enquiring into the matter at the behest of the well-known aided English-medium school’s top authority. She had informed the concerned authority because she wanted action to be taken. against the principal if the incident was proved true.
According to applicant’s lawyer, the applicant was falsely implicated in the case and she was not present in the school when the alleged incident took place. As a counsellor she used to receive list of students who needed counselling and the two students’ names that were allegedly victimised were not mentioned in the list.
The public prosecutor had opposed the bail plea on the ground that the crime was serious in nature and the investigation was in progress. However, after hearing arguments Justice Prabhudessai granted conditional anticipatory bail to the counsellor