Mumbai school trustee accused of sexual assault surrenders in court
According to the complaint filed by the girl’s parents on May 18, 2017, the assault took place in late 2016. They alleged the girl’s teacher took her to the director’s room.Updated: Apr 17, 2018 00:12 IST
A trustee of a school in Andheri, accused of molesting a three-year-old student, surrendered before the Dindoshi sessions court on Monday, three days after the Supreme Court rejected his petition seeking a stay on a Bombay high court (HC) order that cancelled his bail.
According to the complaint filed by the girl’s parents on May 18, 2017, the assault took place in late 2016. They alleged the girl’s teacher took her to the director’s room.
While the 57-year-old trustee, a French national, was arrested on November 7 last year, he was released on bail by a special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act court on November 27. The trustee resumed work at the school in December.
The girl’s mother moved the HC, where justice Revati Mohite-Dere cancelled his bail. The HC also ordered Milind Khetle, assistant commissioner of police, Meghwadi division, to probe the case. But the trustee moved the apex court to seek a stay on the HC order.
The trustee’s lawyer, Suren Shetty, and teacher’s lawyer Ashok Gupte were present before the additional sessions judge AD Deo when the trustee surrendered. He has been remanded in judicial custody at Arthur Road jail for two weeks. The teacher is currently out on bail.
After the charges were filed, defence lawyers told the court they have not received the transcript of the CD in which the statement of the complainant was recorded. The court will hear the matter on April 21.
“We only wanted the school to ensure the trustee didn’t enter the premises till a verdict, but they ignored our demand. We are relieved that the HC cancelled his bail and the SC upheld it,” said a parent on condition of anonymity.
Parents supporting the trustee and school management are upset by the development. “He’s an honorable man and doesn’t deserve this. We are a strong parent community and more than 350 of us had signed the intervention application in the Supreme Court. We will stand by the school.”
Inputs from Shreya Soni
First Published: Apr 17, 2018 00:12 IST