HC bail for PE instructor accused of 'leering' at high school student

HC bail for PE instructor accused  of 'leering' at high school student

The High Court on Friday granted bail to physical education instructor Arifulla D, who was arrested earlier this month under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, after a girl student at the Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidyamandir on Kanakapura Road here complained that his gaze made her “uncomfortable”. 

Arifulla, a native of Davangere, had moved the High Court after the Talaghattapura police registered a suo motu case against him and followed it up with his arrest after the school sent him on leave following the girl’s complaint. The Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights had also taken cognizance of the matter following a news item in Deccan Herald on July 26, 2014. 

The petitioner contended that there were “no reasonable grounds” to believe that he committed offences punishable with death or imprisonment for life. Stating that he was falsely implicated, he described the complaint against him as “a concocted story”, saying there was no cogent or reliable material available to support it. He also stressed that there was an inordinate delay in filing the complaint against him. Justice R B Budhihal granted him bail.

Benefits for rape victims

The High Court on Thursday directed the Karnataka government to consolidate the benefits introduced by various departments for rape victims and disburse them under one roof. 

Hearing a PIL petition by 50 women advocates of the High Court of Karnataka, a division bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri directed the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) to act as nodal agency for disbursement of  the compensation. The petitioners had submitted that home, health and family welfare, women and child development, social welfare and other departments pay compensation to rape victims. 

During the hearing, the government submitted that pursuant to the petition, it had released Rs 50 lakh as compensation and would release an equal amount of money within 15 days once the home department provided the list of victims. 

The petitioners had moved the High Court, contending that the home department had failed to implement the scheme and hence the money set aside for the purpose had lapsed. Referring to the information received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the petitioners said that since 2012, the government allocated Rs one crore every year for the scheme. 

But during this period, a mere Rs 25 lakh was utilised while the remaining fund remained unused and lapsed, they added.

The petitioners further asserted that they repeatedly enquired with the government about special schemes for victims of sexual assault. The reply they received was that different departments had launched various schemes but there was no single scheme providing such women all the benefits under one roof. 

The petitioners sought directions from the High Court to appoint the KSLSA as nodal agency for co-ordination of various schemes for women and ensure disbursement of the funds at the earliest. They also sought directions to the police to report such incidents to the KSLSA within 24 hours so that victims were given all necessary benefits. 

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