Nirmala Devi granted bail 11 months after arrest

Madurai: The Madras High court yesterday granted conditional bail to assistant professor Nirmala Devi who was arrested in a sex for cash scandal case.

The bench comprising Justices N Kirubakaran and S S Sundar granted the bail. Nirmala Devi who was working as an assistant professor in Devanga Arts College in Aruppukottai was arrested last year on 16 April. This issue came to light last year after an audio-clip of her purported conversation with students went viral on social media. She was accused of luring some girl students to extend favours to senior officials of the Madurai Kamaraj University and was subsequently suspended and jailed.

The case gained public outrage and it was immediately transferred to the Crime Branch CID. Following this, Nirmala Devi, Assistant Professor V Murugan and a research student Karuppasamy were arrested for their alleged involvement. In February, the two were granted bail by the Supreme Court. Devi approached the higher  court after the lower courts denied her bail. She had accused the CB CID of coercing her to give a statement and denied all charges.

A 200-page final charge sheet was filed by the CB-CID in the judicial magistrate court in Srivilliputtur in September. The charges included offences of 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.

“Nirmala Devi was arrested 11 months ago and the case was immediately transferred to CBCID. The chargesheet has been filed and the case took several twists and turns. Despite the delay, justice has been served. We humbly accept the court’s bail order,” said Pasumpon Pandian, counsel of Nirmala Devi after she was granted bail yesterday.

NT Bureau