Child abuse case: HC dismisses petition against grant of bail

‘Investigating agency failed to file final report within the time prescribed’

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday upheld the Thalassery Special Court’s order granting K. Padmarajan, suspended school teacher and a local Bharatiya Janata party leader, in the Palathayi child abuse case.

The verdict was passed by Justice P.B. Suresh Kumar while dismissing a petition filed by the mother of the child seeking to quash the bail granted to the accused teacher by the Sessions Court. The court observed said that if the investigating agency failed to file a final report in a case within the time prescribed, the accused in custody got an absolute right for bail. The sessions court’s order granting bail could not be viewed as an act of judicial impropriety.

Guidelines for anonymity

Meanwhile, the court issued certain guidelines for maintaining the survivor’s anonymity while courts handle sexual abuse cases. The court observed that while documents revealing the identity of the victim were produced in sealed covers, there was no system in place to maintain anonymity when the sealed covers were opened by the courts. Besides, there was no system in place for disposal of the documents produced in sealed covers, after the final disposal of the case.

The court ordered that all documents in which the identity of the survivor is disclosed, either required in terms of the rules of the court or produced by the parties concerned to substantiate their case, shall be insisted to be filed in a sealed cover. The registry shall designate an officer for the proper custody of documents produced in sealed covers.

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