'Reconsider': IIT Students, Alumni Slam Gauhati HC Order Granting Bail to Rape Accused

The high court had called the rape accused student the state's "future asset" and made it a ground for granting him bail.

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New Delhi: Over 60 students and alumni of various IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) in a public statement expressed outrage over Gauhati high court granting bail to a rape accused student, calling him a state’s “future asset”.

The signatories of the statement said such a view by courts could take away the hopes of many awaiting justice from courts and can make university campuses unsafe environments. They demanded that the specific ground for granting bail to the accused be “reconsidered”.

“We, the undersigned students and alumni of IITs, are writing this statement to express dejection, displeasure and disgust at the recent development reported from Guwahati,” the statement said.

In fact, the same judge, Justice Borthakur, in an earlier hearing (March 13) had observed that there is a “clear prima facie case against him”, the statement recalled.

Also read: Gender Stereotyping: Paternalism By Courts Erodes Trust in Judicial Institutions

They further noted that such a ruling is “extremely distressing development that threatens the notion that the country has made any progress vis-a-vis gender equality and justice”.

The statement observed that “concessions” such as these when given to the purported perpetrators of sexual violence severely undermines the gravity of crimes and “reinforce the idea that one can get away with these acts and look forward to their ‘bright futures'”.

“We believe that no amount of talent, intellect or reputation should protect the accused from legal actions or be the reason for those actions being reduced and mitigated. These cannot be reasons for any relief in cases of heinous crimes like rape,” the statement added.

On August 23, Gauhati high court granted bail to a student of the IIT-Guwahati, accused of raping a fellow student, calling both of them “the state’s future assets”. The accused had allegedly raped the girl in question on March 28. She was rescued the next day and was admitted to a hospital. The accused was arrested on April 3.