Joy Sengupta, TT, Patna, July 4: The special vigilance court today accepted that Ruby Rai, an alleged beneficiary of the Intermediate result scam, is a minor and ordered that she be shifted from Beur Central Jail to the girls’ remand home.
Last week, the court had directed the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) to verify the original matriculation provisional certificate that had been presented by an NGO (Prayas Juvenile Aide Centre), the petitioners in the case, as evidence of her minor status and submit its report by Monday (today).
The court, after going through the report of the BSEB, ordered that all the case records related to Ruby be sent to the juvenile justice board.
The court also ordered the Beur Central Jail administration to ensure that the girl is shifted to the remand home. Beur jail authorities said the transfer could take between two and three days.
“The police (SIT) should have got their facts right before putting Ruby in jail. We have claimed compensation of Rs 20 lakh from the police for her wrongful confinement,” Suresh Kumar, a senior official with the NGO, told The Telegraph.
The date of birth of Ruby, according to her matriculation certificate, is November 15, 1998. That puts her age at a little over 17 years and 7 months.
The petitioners have also pleaded to the court that the role of the special investigation team (SIT) should be probed since they had all the relevant documents related to Ruby. The court has forwarded the request to the juvenile justice board.
Legal experts said the court decision today would offer Ruby some relief.
“The first implication is that she will not be awarded a punishment a major booked under the IPC would get. The scrutiny against her will not be as harsh as it is in a normal court,” Dinesh Kumar, a senior advocate with Patna High Court, told The Telegraph.
Ruby, the disgraced Intermediate arts topper and a student of the controversial scam epicentre Vishun Roy College, Vaishali, was arrested by the SIT on June 25 after she flunked a re-evaluation test conducted by the BSEB. The same day, the board cancelled her result.
The police had argued that Ruby, who, along with the other accused, had been booked under several sections of the IPC pertaining to fraud, cheating and conspiracy, had not told the court that she was a minor.
The SIT today arrested former BSEB secretary Sri Nivas Tiwari, who at present holds the post of assistant director of the state’s midday meal programme.
Tiwari had been detained by the SIT last week for questioning.
“The police, while questioning Tiwari, found he was involved in the scandal and used to side with Lalkeshwar (Prasad, the former BSEB chief) and Usha. Many irregularities have been found in appointments of BSEB staff and the documents have got his signature. The police have got concrete evidence against him. He was the secretary with the BSEB between 2014-15. Apart from this, a special team has been constituted to arrest the other toppers and their family members as well as Vivek, the son-in-law of Lalkeshwar,” Patna senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaaj said.