Ryan Murder Case: What Does the CCTV Footage Actually Reveal?

No evidence against the bus conductor, but no clean chit either as the probe is still on, CBI tells the court.

2 min read

On Thursday, the Ryan International School bus conductor Ashok Kumar’s bail application came up for hearing in a lower court in Gurugram. Kumar’s lawyer requested the court to allow him to see the CCTV footage. The court agreed for an in-camera proceeding where the CCTV footage was played in the presence of the Sessions Judge, CBI’s lawyer, Kumar’s lawyer and Pradyumn’s lawyer.

During the entire bail hearing, the media was not allowed to be present inside the courtroom.

But Kumar’s lawyer appraised the media of the contents of the footage when he came out. According to him, the footage from the CCTV camera installed in the gallery next to the toilet where the murder happened reveals the following sequence of events:

  • Pradyumn is seen crossing the school gallery in the direction of the toilet, followed by the bus conductor, Ashok Kumar, and then followed by the 16-year-old juvenile.
  • Around 15 seconds later, Pradyumn is seen crossing the corridor again, followed by the 16-year-old juvenile, in the opposite direction to the toilet.
  • A few seconds later, Pradyumn and the 16-year-old juvenile were again seen walking across the gallery back in the direction of the toilet with the 16-year-old’s arm around Pradyumn’s shoulder.
  • The bus conductor is not seen in the footage again and his whereabouts during the incident are unknown.
Photograph of Pradyumn Thakur.
Photograph of Pradyumn Thakur.
(Photo: Erum Gour/The Quint)

The duration of the CCTV footage is around one- to one-and-a-half hours as claimed by Kumar’s lawyer. During his submission before the court, he said that the police used the third degree on his client, Kumar, to extract a confessional statement from him.

The CBI’s lawyer explained the entire CCTV footage to the court and said that it is one of the most crucial pieces of evidence which reveals the identity of the of the 16-year-old accused.

Apart from the CCTV footage, there is other corroborative evidence, like the forensics report and the testimony of witnesses to make a case against the juvenile.

The CBI didn’t oppose Kumar’s bail plea, but at the same time claimed that the agency has no evidence against him so far. According to a source, the CBI told the court:

“CBI is towing a different line of investigation. But at the same time, the agency doesn’t rule out anyone’s involvement in the incident and the investigation is still in progress.”

On the other hand, Pradyumn’s lawyer did oppose Kumar’s bail:

We told the court not to grant bail to Ashok Kumar till the chargesheet is filed in the court. It is unlikely that the court will grant bail to him.
Sushil Tekriwal, Pradyumn’s Lawyer

The next date of the hearing is 20 November, till then the bail order has been reserved. Although the CBI as of now ruled out Kumar’s involvement in the murder, his plight doesn’t seem to have ended yet.

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