Kerala High Court defers arrest of Lekshmi Nair, former principal of Kerala Law Academy College
The court issued the order on a petition filed by Lekshmi Nair seeking to quash the case registered against her under section 3(s) of The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act
KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Thursday directed the police not to arrest P Lekshmi Nair, former principal Kerala Law Academy Law College, an accused in a case related to casteist slur against a student, belonging to scheduled caste, till February 23. The court also asked police to file a report on the progress of the investigation.
The court issued the order on a petition filed by Lekshmi Nair seeking to quash the case registered against her under section 3(s) of The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The police registered a case against her based on the complaint lodged by Vivek, a fourth year LLB student. He alleged that on January 21, 2016, the petitioner ridiculed him while he stood in front of the principal's office along with four friends, causing him mental agony and degrading his esteem. The remark was following a report that financial aid to students from scheduled caste/scheduled tribe was denied due to negligence on the part of the college. The complainant alleged that he was defamed in public place due to the enmity for giving news to the media. The complainant said that the delay in filing the complaint was because he decided to consult with leaders of AISF, of which he is a member.
According to Lekshmi Nair, no such incident occurred on January 21, 2016. The petitioner was on leave on that day and the allegation was malicious and vexatious to settle scores of personal vendetta. The AISF which stood in the forefront of the strike conspired against the petitioner to foist false cases on her. The allegation was made in the midst of the strike to coerce her to submit a resignation.
She was ready to undergo a lie detector test or any other scientifically approved test to establish her absolute innocence. In fact, she had asked to appear before the investigation officer for questioning on February 7, 2017. However, she sought two weeks time to appear for interrogation as she was not able to move out because her mother was bedridden.
The place of offence being a place not in public view, the offence is not constituted, argued Lekshmi Nair.