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The challenge to bail granted to the accused in the Jindal Law School Gang Rape witnessed an interesting hearing in the Supreme Court today.
Listed before a Bench of Justices SA Bobde and L Nageswara Rao, Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the victim, raised concerns about the fact that the accused were in possession of nude photographs of the girl and that they had not parted with the iCloud password to the same.
“They are unrepentent. Even today, they have the password and are in possession of my nude photographs. They can circulate my photographs all over internet”, Gonsalves said.
Senior Advocate Shanti Bhushan, appearing for one of the accused, said that the photos were sent by the victim herself.
The Court, however, took a lenient view with respect to Gonsalves’ submission and said to Bhushan,
“The password is with you. When a young girl faces an apprehension like this, we will take it seriously.”
The Court then asked the accused to hand over the password to the victim and decided to adjourn the matter.
Gonsalves then said that the issue regarding the password should not have any bearing to grant of bail.
“It will be a travesty of justice if they are out of jail for even one day. It is not good enough that they give the password and then walk out”, submitted Gonsalves.
“Then what is the point of adjourning the matter? If they are giving you the password it means they are not ready to attack you”, remarked Bobde J.
Bobde J. also remarked that the judges have read the case and proceeded to say something, but stopped himself.
“We would not like to make any comments. We are not deciding moral issues. We will decide the case according to law”, he said.
The Bench also remarked that it would consider directing the High Court to decide the case in three months so that the issue of bail does not arise at all.
Gonsalves then said that the gut wrenching terror due to which a 19-year-old girl was forced to send her photographs should be considered.
The Court proceeded to adjourn the matter for February 15, when the accused will have to share the password with the victim.
Subsequently, the Supreme Court had stayed the non-bailable arrest warrant against one accused, Vikas Garg. The other two accused are still in jail.
Senior Advocates Shanti Bhushan along with advocate Kartik Seth appeared for accused no. 1, while Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi along with advocates Prasenjit Keswani and Nitin Sangra appeared for accused no. 2. Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi represented accused Vikas Garg.