An official of the Ryan group on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer of the student murder case from outside a local court at Sohna, alleging the bar has restrained lawyers from representing the accused in the sensational case.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Amitava Roy and AM Khanwilkar considered the submission of senior advocate KTS Tulsi, that the fundamental right of a person to be represented by a lawyer of his choice is getting infringed.
The bench assured the counsel of Francis Thomas, northern zone head of Ryan group, that it will hear the petition on 18 September. Thomas was arrested on Monday in connection with the murder of the boy in school premises on last Friday. Tulsi alleged that the bar bodies at Sohna and Gurugram in Haryana have asked their member lawyers not to represent any person or accused in the brutal murder of seven-year-old Pradyumna.
Class II student Pradyumna was found with his throat slit on the morning of 8 September in the toilet of Ryan International School in Gurugram. Police allege that 42-year-old bus conductor Ashok Kumar killed him with a knife after the boy resisted an attempt to sodomise him.
The apex court is already hearing pleas filed by Pradyumna’s father and two women lawyers on the issue. While the father has sought investigation by the CBI or a SIT into the case, the women advocates have sought framing of “non-negotiable” child safety conditions and implementation of existing guidelines to protect school-going children from offences like sexual abuse and murder across the country.
The plea, which also sought cancellation of licences and forfeiture of state grants of erring schools, will be heard by the court along with the father’s petition on 15 September.