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Keywords: Ragging, Summons, Chargesheet, Unprofessionalism, Pursuit of justice

In a significant development, the Mumbai Sessions Court has ruled that a lawyer accused of ragging his former classmate must face trial, dismissing a criminal revision application challenging a Magistrate Court order. This decision reaffirms the Magistrate’s authority to issue summons to individuals not initially implicated in a police chargesheet.

The incident dates back to September 16, 2014, when a law college student, now a lawyer, threw a shoe that accidentally hit the victim. Despite the victim’s complaint to the college principal, the situation escalated when one of the accused taunted her, “Le Kya Ukhad Liya Principal Ke Pass Jakar, Vaise Bhi &xyz’s (third accused) father is a top criminal lawyer, So Tu Kahin Bhi Nahi Jit Payegi.” citing familial connections to a prominent criminal lawyer and undermining her pursuit of justice.

When the college administration and local police failed to address the matter, the victim sought relief from the Bombay High Court. Following the court’s intervention, an FIR was registered under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prohibition of Ragging Act. Subsequently, the Mumbai police filed a chargesheet, but shockingly, it excluded one of the accused law students.

In response, the victim and her father approached the Magistrate Court, urging it to take cognizance against the omitted third accused. The Magistrate, critical of the investigating officer’s conduct, summoned the third accused and reprimanded the officer for displaying bias and unprofessionalism.

The Magistrate Court, in its scathing remarks, noted that the investigating officer had acted “unnecessarily in favor” of the third accused. Despite compelling evidence against him, including statements from witnesses and a suspension order issued by the college principal, the officer inexplicably omitted the accused’s name from the chargesheet. The court declared this act as “serious and unacceptable,” emphasizing that the officer had violated professional standards and ethics.

The investigating officer, police sub-inspector Vijaya Gawade, now faces disciplinary action for her alleged role in favoring the accused. The Magistrate referred Gawade’s case to disciplinary authorities, stating that her conduct was a breach of professional standards and unethical. The court asserted that her explanation did not absolve her of responsibility as an investigating officer, accusing her of deliberately aiding the accused in evading charges.

The accused student challenged the Magistrate Court’s summons before the Sessions Court, leading to the recent decision upholding the trial order. The ruling not only paves the way for justice in a long-pending case of ragging but also underscores the judiciary’s commitment to holding individuals accountable for their actions, regardless of their background or connections.

 Indiatoday.in , https://www.indiatoday.in/law/story/nine-years-after-incident-court-confirms-lawyer-must-face-trial-for-ragging-former-classmate-2463657-2023-11-16

Timesofindia.indiatimes.com , https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/9-yrs-on-lawyer-in-dock-over-ragging-of-woman-classmate/articleshow/105246526.cms

Written by : shalmali Ugare., College: DESNFLC , pune, Sem: 3rd intern under legal vidhiya

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