An alleged gangrape victim in north Bihar, who was sent to jail last week following a ruckus before the magistrate during recording of her statement, was on Friday granted bail, according to the social organisation which has taken up her cause.
Araria-based Jan Jagrati Shakti Sangathan, (JJSS), which had been looking after the 22-year-old woman ever since the sexual assault left her rattled, said the order was passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate's court there.
"We were happy that a special hearing on our bail petition was conducted," the JJSS said here in a statement, adding that an "exception" was made in the case amid state-wide lockdown, which has affected judicial work at lower courts.
The development comes two days after close to 400 lawyers from across the country, including luminaries like Indira Jaisingh, Prashant Bhushan and Vrinda Grover had written a letter addressed to the Chief Justice and other judges of the Patna High Court, drawing their attention to the matter.
The girl was allegedly raped in Araria by four persons on July 6 while she was out of her home, learning how to ride a motorcycle by an acquaintance who fled the spot when the perpetrators pounced on her.
She was spotted by JJSS workers who first accompanied her home, but noticing the unsympathetic attitude of family members, decided to look after her while she fought for justice.
An FIR was lodged at the Mahila Thana in Araria a day later and on July 10, and the woman appeared before the magistrate for recording of statements, chaperoned by JJSS workers Kalyani and Tanmay Nivedita.
The victim, in a frazzled state of mind, threw a fit before the magistrate upon being asked to sign a transcript of her statement. Shortly afterwards, the JJSS workers approached the court staff requesting that they be shown a copy of the recorded statement, which was turned down and it led to an altercation.
Upset over the ruckus, the magistrate is said to have directed a court staff to lodge an FIR against the trio for contempt of court and obstructing a public servant from discharge of duty.
The three were remanded in judicial custody on July 11 and dispatched to Dalsinghsarai in Samastipur district, more than 200 kms from Araria since the local prison could not admit more number of inmates as per the guidelines in force due to COVID-19, JJSS secretary Ashish Ranjan Jha said.
In the statement, the JJSS, however, expressed disappointment over denial of bail to the two of its workers who had assumed the role of caregivers to the woman.
"After the bail plea of Kalyani and Tanmay was rejected, we immediately tried moving a fresh application but were told that no hearing would be taking place in view of a circular whereby functioning of district courts has been suspended amid the spurt in COVID-19 cases," it said.
The JJSS said it had "full faith" in the judiciary and will "continue to pursue all remedies" for securing the release of its two members.