A Mahila Court, on Friday, rejected the plea of four women lecturers to discharge them from a criminal case of the suicide of a city college student, who was allegedly humiliated by them.
Divya of Olcott Kuppam, Besant Nagar, who was a third year student of Dr. MGR Janaki College of Arts and Science for Women, committed suicide on February 1, 2011, after the four lecturers strip-searched her following a theft complaint.
According to the prosecution, another girl student had complained to the college management that Rs. 4,000 was stolen from her. The professors conducted a search among the students and asked Divya to strip. Humiliated by this, she allegedly committed suicide.
Based on a complaint from Divya’s parents, the Shastri Nagar police arrested the four lecturers — Jayalakshmi, Sudha, Selvi and Vijaylakshmi. They were charged under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code.
The police also filed a final report before the court. Seeking to discharge themselves from the case, the four lecturers said the final report did not disclose a prima facie case against them. They also claimed the parents of the deceased and other students had written letters in their support.
Dismissing their discharge petition, Meena Satheesh, judge of Mahila Court, said, “The genuineness of the letters is to be elucidated by the defence side at the time of trial.”
The judge also pointed out that the parents of the deceased had initiated the complaint, and the case was then registered and investigated by the police. She said, “Under these circumstances, this court is able to find a prima facie case against the lecturers.”