A Mumbai court granted bail to IIT Bombay student Arman Khatri, arrested in connection with fellow student Darshan Solanki’s suicide, stating that mere allegations in a suicide note are not sufficient to conclude the accused has committed the offence of abetment.
The court in its order on Saturday (May 6) also said there is nothing on record to show that Khatri was harassing Solanki on the ground of caste discrimination or instigated the latter to commit suicide.
Khatri, who was arrested on April 9, was granted bail by additional sessions judge A P Kanade on Saturday. The detailed order was available on Wednesday (May 10).
Solanki, who hailed from Ahmedabad and was a first-year student of the B Tech (Chemical) course, died after allegedly jumping off the seventh floor of a hostel building on the campus of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) in suburban Powai on February 12. It happened a day after the semester exams ended.
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Three weeks later, a special investigation team (SIT) of the Mumbai Police found a one-line note from Solanki’s room saying, “Arman has killed me.”
According to the police, it also came to light that the Khatri had threatened to kill Solanki with a paper cutter, after he had spoken offensively to the accused about his Muslim religion. However, Khatri, in his bail plea claimed he had no connection with the alleged offence and he was arrested on suspicion, after almost two months of the incident.
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The court after hearing both the sides said perusal of papers on record reveals that the investigation officer recorded the statement of witnesses and seized a paper cutter at the instance of the accused.
Those statements revealed the deceased had repeatedly apologised to the accused (for his comment on the religion of the accused). So far as the harassment to the deceased on the caste discrimination ground, there is nothing on record to show that the applicant/accused was harassing the deceased on the ground of caste discrimination, the court said.
Except one incident of showing the paper cutter to the deceased by the applicant, there is nothing on record to show that the accused instigated deceased Darshan to commit suicide, it said.
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On the suicide note, the court said except Khatri’s name, there is no reference of any act or incident whereby the applicant herein is alleged to have committed any wilful act of omission or intentional aid or instigated deceased in committing act of suicide.
Mere allegations in the suicide note that the applicant is responsible for his death would not be sufficient to come to the conclusion that the applicant has committed the said offence of abetment, the court observed.
The court allowed Khatri’s bail, saying no justified ground was made out for his further detention.
Also read: IIT-Bombay student jumps to death from hostel building