The Supreme Court has granted permission to the accused in the Payal Tadvi suicide case to return to college and continue their studies. The permission is, however, subject to certain conditions prescribed by the Apex Court. The response comes in an appeal filed by the accused- Ankita Kailash Khandelwal, Hema Suresh Ahuja and Bhakti Aravind Mehare against a Bombay High Court judgement delivered on February 20. The High Court judgement had granted bail to the accused on the condition that they should not be allowed to re-enter the college from which they were suspended. While delivering the decision, the bench headed by Justice U.U. Lalit observed that not allowing the accused to go back into their studies will prejudice their career, thus adding an additional burden on them. Further, the adverse impact such an action entails will have the effect of “negating” their rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. The court also observed that the suspension of the accused was purely based on facts and did not have any statutory basis.
The Payal Tadvi case relates to the suicide of a medical student, in which the mother of the victim filed a complaint against the trio alleging of abetment through harassment of the victim, who was junior to the three accused. The case was registered under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the anti-ragging law. Among the several conditions imposed on the accused are requirements that there shouldn’t be any attempt to influence any witnesses and that they shall be present in the court on trial dates.
Lakshmi Raj C