TN: Teacher accused in 'sex for degrees' case granted bail
The Madras High Court has granted conditional bail to a woman assistant professor, Nirmala Devi, accused in the sensational "sex for degrees" case, arrested 11 months ago.
She was granted bail by Justices N Kirubakaran and SS Sundar of the Madurai Bench. Devi allegedly lured girl students to extend sexual favors to Madurai Kamaraj University's senior officials for higher marks and money.
Devi directed to fully cooperate with police in investigation
The government counsel expressed no objection to the bail granted to Devi. The court directed Devi to fully cooperate in the investigation of the case while barring her from giving any media interviews that would affect the probe.
Her bail pleas were earlier rejected by the lower court and the HC too. Devi was an assistant professor at the private Devanga Arts College, Aruppukottai.
Devi asked girl students to 'adjust' for marks and money
Last year, an audio-clip went viral in which Devi could be heard advising girl students to "adjust" with University officials to get 85% marks and money, suggesting them to extend sexual favors.
Following this, a complaint by Devanga Arts College and a women's forum was filed and Devi was arrested on 16 April. The college had earlier suspended her after an internal inquiry.
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SC granted bail to two others involved in the case
The "sex for degrees" case was referred to the Crime Branch CID (CB-CID). Based on Devi's interrogation, police arrested the University's Assistant Professor V Murugan and research student Karuppasamy for their alleged involvement. The HC rejected their pleas but the Supreme Court granted them bail.
CB-CID filed a 200-page final charge-sheet in the case
The CB-CID filed a 200-page final charge-sheet in this case in the Srivilliputtur Judicial Magistrate court in September.
In its final charge-sheet, the CB-CID altered the charges to include "trafficking, sexual harassment, and conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and also under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act and the Information Technology Act."
Police 'coerced to give a statement, says Devi
The CB-CID included fresh charges based on its investigation, including Devi's voice test by police at a high-tech laboratory in Chennai. However, during the Srivilliputtur Judicial Magistrate court proceedings, Devi denied the charges against her, alleging she was "coerced" to give the statement by police.
Madras High Court
Assistant Professor V Murugan
Crime Branch CID
Devanga Arts College
Indian Penal Code
Information Technology Act
Justices N Kirubakaran
Madurai Kamaraj University
Srivilliputtur Judicial Magistrate
Tamil Nadu Prohibition