Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Babysana Case: Bail is the rule and jail is the exception
Updated: Nov 6, 2019, 01:54 GMT-0530 | Editor

How would one feel when one’s mother, sister and brother are all put in jail for an extended period, at the same time when the prosecution cannot prove charges which are slapped on them?  

The case of Babysana, a teenager who apparently committed suicide as per the accounts of the investigating body and forensic experts, has been an interesting one. On one side is the Joint Action Committee (JAC) mobbing the lower courts earlier, insisting on the theory that the student was “murdered” and on the other is the pressure reportedly being put on by Babysana’s father to the investigating body that the crime points to homicide and that the police should acknowledge his opinion. It is quite surprising that the police obliged and added section 302 (murder) when the matter was prima-facie pointing to possible suicide and section 305 (abetment of suicide) which was the earlier charge slapped on the administrators of Standard Robarth English School. Here, one can observe the power of the JAC and its ability to influence authority.

Also Read: Babysana Case: Manipur High Court grants bail to Landhoni and daughter Romita, CBI to take over investigation

The interesting element in the unfolding episode is that the JAC did not believe the first autopsy report and demanded a second one; which the state government also obliged. Now, the twin autopsy and forensic reports all points to suicide and the fact was reflected in the police charge-sheet too. Again, the JAC stated that they did not believe that too and demanded a CBI inquiry. This also shows a trust deficit towards the system, if one keenly observes the sequences of the event.

Another observation one could make is that the JAC and others mobbing the lower court demanding that the school authorities should not be released on bail. Here, it is important to note that liberty is to be secured through the process of law. Interestingly enough, the lower court too failed to grant bail to the accused citing own reason. The lawyers representing the accused argued that the investigating body has not been able to substantiate the charge of murder.  The court seemed to have been pressured and the magistrate did object to the loud protests which reverberated inside the courtroom then.

Also Read: Babysana Case: All you need to know about the mysterious death

After more than three months of languishing in prison, Justice Muralidharan finally granted bail to the accused persons. The Supreme Court did observe that “bail is the rule and jail is the exception” and the inherent right of a person to freedom and liberty as enshrined under the Constitution has to be upheld. The judiciary has to safeguard the interest of the citizens and dispense justice. Some sections feel that the judgement is long overdue and indeed much faith has been restored in the criminal justice system. The High Courts and the Supreme Court have judicial powers under article 226 of the Constitution to direct the CBI to take up a case.

As per the special investigation team efforts, no stone has been left unturned and there are no findings to implicate the accused under Section 302 (murder) as yet. As the court order came, it was time the CBI start the probe from where the SIT concluded. It would be interesting to see how the CBI takes up the case and concludes it. If Babysana indeed committed suicide, what prompted the young girl to resort to such an awful act. So far, no one seems to have any credible answer. Let justice be done to Babysana!

Leader Writer – Paojel Chaoba

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