Ryan Murder Case: School Bus Conductor Ashok Kumar Acquitted 

The school bus conductor was granted bail by Gurugram’s special court for children in November 2017.

3 min read
Bus conductor Ashok Kumar was granted bail by a Gurugram court on 21 November.

Ryan school bus conductor Ashok Kumar, the first prime accused in the murder of seven-year-old student Pradyuman Thakur, has been acquitted by a children’s special child court in Gurugram on 28 February, ANI reported.

The court asked the CBI to speed up probe in a case involving a boy's death inside a washroom at Ryan International School’s Bhondsi branch in Haryana, the report added. Kumar was granted bail in November by the special court for children on a personal bond of Rs 50,000, The Indian Express reported.

A 1,000-page chargesheet was filed by the CBI before the court of Additional Sessions Judge Jasbir Singh Kundu on 5 February, according to another report in The Indian Express.

It is prayed since no evidence by the CBI against conductor Ashok Kumar for his involvement in any manner in the murder… this court may kindly discharge him in this case.
CBI chargesheet as reported by The Indian Express

Conductor Ashok Kumar has alleged that he was tortured by Gurugram Police officials in Sohna to make him confess to the crime.

Pradyumn Thakur, a Class II student of Gurugram’s Ryan International School, was found dead in the school washroom with his throat slit by a sharp-edged weapon on the morning of 8 September 2017.

The Gurugram police had arrested Ashok Kumar, pinning the blame for the crime on the bus conductor. The police alleged that Kumar tried to sexually assault Pradyuman and killed him when he resisted, the police said.

Following outrage over the murder, the Haryana government on 15 September recommended a CBI probe in the matter. The investigating agency took over the probe on 22 September and took custody of the bus conductor.

But in a twist, investigators announced that they had apprehended a senior student of the school in connection with the incident, rejecting the police’s theory that the killing was the handiwork of Kumar.

Varun Thakur, Pradhyuman’s father, moved the Bombay High Court, seeking arrests of the trustees of Ryan International Schools – Augustine Francis Pinto, his wife Grace and their son Ryan, The Indian Express added. Bombay-based Pintos approached the Bombay High court to seek anticipatory bail.

The High Court refused their anticipatory bail plea, but granted them interim protection. Following which, the trustees approached the Punjab and Haryana High court seeking bail in the matter, the daily stated.

Pradyuman’s father also approached the apex court challenging the interim relief granted to the three trustees in the case by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on 4 October last year.

Hearing Pradyuman’s father’s plea, the Supreme Court issued notice to the owners of the Ryan International School on 14 October. In another notice, the court gave the Punjab and Haryana courts a period of ten days to decide the anticipatory bail pleas of the trustees.

Meanwhile, CBSE filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court on 5 October, saying that the brutal killing of the the boy took place due to the “negligence” on part of the school’s administration since conductors, drivers were using washrooms meant for kids, The Indian Express said.

After questioning students and teachers, the CBI delivered a twist to the Pradyuman murder case by apprehending a class XI student in connection with the murder case on 7 November.

The investigating agency revealed that the seven-year-old was murdered by a 16-year-old Class 11 student who wanted his exams and a parent-teacher meeting postponed.

Pradyumn’s father asked the Juvenile Justice Board to try the Class XI student as an adult. The Indian Express mentioned that the media was asked to use fictitious names for the 16-year-old juvenile accused in the case.

(With inputs from Indian Express, ANI)

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