Mumbai women jailed for hurling slipper at apex court judge


New Delhi:The Supreme Court Wednesday jailed four women officials of Mumbai-based Boss School of Music for hurling a slipper at an apex court judge in March this year.

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A bench of Justices Altmas Kabir, G.S. Singhvi and H.L. Dattu convicted the four women, including the school’s principal, on the charge of contempt of court for throwing a slipper at Justice Arijit, who has since retired, and sentenced them to three months’ jail.

The bench also imposed a fine of Rs.100,000 on the four women — principal Leila David, 75, audio engineer Annette Kottian, 23, as well as music teacher Pavitra Murali and psychologist Savita Parekh, who are in their 30s.

While Kottian and Parekh were taken into custody in the courtroom itself, where they were present to argue their cases, David and Murli were ordered to be arrested by Maharashtra police from their homes in Mumbai. They will be lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail.

The four were sent to jail on March 20 as well, soon after the incident, but were granted bail four days later, in keeping with the Indian judiciary’s commitment to the due process of law and the principles of natural justice.

The court had then said that despite hurling the slipper in the packed courtroom in full public view, they were not liable to be convicted and sentenced summarily without adherence to the due process of law, which entails a full-fledged trial and examination of witnesses.

Ironically, the women had chucked the slipper at Justice Pasayat while facing contempt of court proceedings before him for lampooning Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan.

And while facing contempt proceedings for that, they committed yet another offence in Justice Kabir’s court in August this year.

The women had approached the apex court seeking prosecution of Bombay High Court judges, who had ordered psychological tests on them.

An associate of the school, Nancy D’Souja explained to IANS earlier that their problem started with some parents accusing them of hypnotising their children and practicing black magic on them.

It all began with Kottian joining Boss (Bouquet of Songs and Smile) School of Music as its audio engineer and developing an “obsessive liking” for music, like many other children learning music in the school, she had said.

But with Kottian and other children allegedly displaying abnormal behaviour and obsession for music, their parents began suspecting that the school was indulging in black magic.

The parents eventually approached the Bombay High Court with the allegations. The police were asked to probe the allegations but found no truth in it. During the hearing, the high court also noticed the paranoid behaviour of the Boss School members and ordered their “deprogramming” or psychological tests.

During the court hearing, it transpired that it was apparently this order for “deprogramming” that had aggravated the Boss School members’ paranoia and they began suspecting “the judges to be indulging in genocide”. By this they meant, they said, “ruining our lives”.

The issue even figured in the Maharashtra assembly.