Kachru ragging case: Four accused surrender in court (Lead)

July 29th, 2010 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, July 29 (IANS) All the four medical students accused of ragging to death first year student Aman Kachru last year surrendered in a Himachal Pradesh court here Thursday.
The Himachal Pradesh High Court had Wednesday cancelled the bail given to Ajay Verma, Naveen Verma, Abhinav Verma and Mukul Sharma by a trial court and directed them to surrender.

“All the four accused have surrendered in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Rajeev Bhardwaj,” District Deputy Attorney R.K. Kaushal told IANS.

He said since Fast Track Court Judge Purinder Vaidya was on leave, the accused appeared in the court of Judge Bhardwaj.

“The fast track court has already listed the matter for next hearing Aug 2,” he added.

The high court, which initiated suo motu proceedings after the bail, said: “The order passed by the trial court granting bail to the accused is against law… accordingly quashed and set aside.”

The trial court granted bail to the four accused July 17 after 16 months of custody on the plea that the testimony against them had been recorded.

Setting aside the bail order, the high court said that “the trial court ignored that three of the accused (Naveen, Abhinav and Mukul) are also involved in other criminal case”.

“The trial court would proceed with recording of the evidence on the dates (Aug 2) already fixed and would ensure that the trial is conducted from day to day. The court would ensure that no undue and unnecessary adjournments be granted to either side,” the high court observed in a 37-page order.

During the arguments in the high court, Advocate General R.K. Bawa, who represented the government, said the trial court showed undue haste in granting bail to the accused without considering the fact that the recording of the evidence would come to an end Aug 6.

The trial court has so far recorded the statement of 26 witnesses. Statements of some doctors and police personnel are to be recorded, he added.

Kaushal said the statement of remaining witnesses would be recorded by the fast track court from Aug 2 to Aug 6.

Aman Kachru, 19, died March 8, 2009, a few hours after being allegedly ragged by the four final-year students of the Rajendra Prasad Medical College in Tanda town near here.

After the death of Kachru, the state government ordered a magisterial inquiry into his death.

The inquiry report said many first-year students, including Kachru, were subjected to intense physical ragging March 7, 2009.

“Kachru collapsed and died due to injuries which the post-mortem report has linked to the incident of ragging,” said the report, holding college principal Suresh Sankhyan, responsible for the lapses.

Sankhyan resigned from the post after the incident and a departmental inquiry regarding the incident is still on.

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