St. Gerosa School incident: Orders on MLAs’ anticipatory bail application today

Updated - February 20, 2024 10:12 pm IST

Published - February 20, 2024 10:11 pm IST - MANGALURU

A view of St. Gerosa School Complex in Mangaluru.

A view of St. Gerosa School Complex in Mangaluru. | Photo Credit: File Photo

The 81st Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge, Bengaluru, and Special Court for Criminal Cases against elected representatives has posted to Wednesday, for orders on anticipatory bail application filed by Mangaluru City MLAs D. Vedavyas Kamath, Y. Bharath Shetty, and three others in a case pertaining to St. Gerosa English Higher Primary School in Mangaluru. The court has already granted interim bail to them.

Mr. Kamath, Dr. Shetty, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Sharan Pumpwell and two Mangaluru City councillors Sandeep Garodi and Bharath Kumar, were named as accused in the case registered by Mangaluru South Police on February 14. The complainant Anil Gerald Lobo, a local resident, accused the two MLAs and others of promoting enmity among groups by staging a protest outside the St. Gerosa School in Jeppu on February 12. The protest was to demand action against English teacher Sister Gerosa for her alleged derogatory remarks on Lord Ram and Hinduism in the classroom. The school has denied its teacher made any such remarks.

The two MLAs and three others filed for anticipatory bail before the Special Court under Section 438 of Criminal Procedure Code on February 16. They also filed an interim application seeking anticipatory bail.

Allowing the interim application, Judge Santosh Gajanan Bhat, in his order on February 16, said petitioners have deep roots in society and if the interim bail is not considered they may be put to hardship. Suitable conditions will be put in place to prevent them from disturbing public peace and tranquility.

The judge directed the Mangaluru police to release the petitioners on bail, in case of arrest, after obtaining a personal bond for ₹1 lakh with one surety for like sum. The interim bail will be in force till disposal of main anticipatory bail application. Petitioners should not tamper with or threaten prosecution witness, the Judge said.

On Tuesday, Public Prosecutor B. Rajeshwari submitted an objection to the main application and also submitted a report of the investigation officer to the court. The judge heard Ms. Rajeshwari and senior counsel Arun Shyam and posted the matter to Wednesday for orders on main application.

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