Ryan school murder case: CBI seeks time to reply on trying accused as adult in gruesome murder of nine-year-old

The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) on October 17 ordered that the accused who was 16 at the time of the crime be tried as an adult.

PTIUpdated: Sunday, November 20, 2022, 08:07 PM IST
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Students protest outside Bombay High Court to condemn the murder of Ryan International School student Pradyumna in Mumbai in September 2017. | PTI

GURUGRAM: A sessions court on Saturday fixed November 23 for hearing the matter related to the killing of a seven-year-old boy at a private school here in September 2017 after the CBI sought time to file its reply. It was the second hearing in the case since the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) on October 17 ordered that the accused who was 16 at the time of the crime be tried as an adult. The first hearing was on October 31.

During hearing of the case here on Saturday in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Tarun Singal, CBI sought time to file its reply. During the last hearing on October 31, the defence submitted that they are moving the Supreme Court against the decision of JJB and urged the judge to put off the hearing, following which he fixed November 19 for taking up the matter, according to lawyers.

After reviewing for the second time on the direction of the Supreme Court, the JJB had stuck to its stand that the accused should be tried as an adult. Days later, the Supreme Court granted him bail, noting that he was in detention for five years.

The Supreme Court had in July this year upheld the October 11, 2018 order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that the juvenile be examined afresh to ascertain whether he should be tried as an adult or not for the alleged crime. The high court had set aside a lower court order which had in May 2018 upheld the JJB's earlier decision that the juvenile should be tried as an adult.

The CBI had taken up the case from the district police on September 22, 2017 following a massive uproar over the gruesome killing. The agency, in a charge sheet, had alleged that the accused, a Class 11 student at that time, had murdered the child in a bid to get the examinations postponed and a scheduled parent-teacher meeting cancelled. The victim's body, with the throat slit, was found in the washroom of the school in the Bhondsi area here.

The counsel for the accused had challenged the JJB's earlier order in the sessions court, saying it was "bad in law" and passed without giving him a proper opportunity to present his case. The court had barred the media from using the name of the juvenile accused in the case and asked it to use fictitious names instead.

While the seven-year-old victim was referred to as "Prince" by the court, the juvenile accused was called "\RBholu " and the school was referred to as "Vidyalaya". The probe agency had earlier given a clean chit to school bus conductor Ashok Kumar, who was arrested by the Gurugram Police, saying there was no evidence to prove his involvement in the crime.

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