The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday released former assistant professor of Arupukottai Arts and Science College Nirmala Devi on bail, 11 months after she was arrested in a sex-for-cash scandal involving college girls whom she allegedly lured.
The bench comprising Justices N. Kirupakaran and S. S. Sundar released Nirmala Devi on conditional bail after taking note of the fact that two of the co-accused had already been granted bail by the Supreme Court and the Crime Branch CID had already filed main and supplementary charge-sheets.
The two co-accused are Madurai Kamaraj University assistant professor V Murugan and former research assistant S Karuppasamy.
The court said that Nirmala Devi, now lodged in Madurai central jail, should not meet the press and she should co-operate with the police in speedy completion of the case. The case was heard in camera in the judge’s chamber and Nirmala Devi’s counsel briefed reporters later.
The case against Nirmala Devi was that she lured her college girls to do sexual favours to top officials of the Madras Kamaraj University for money and grades. The scandal came to light after some of the girls, who refused, taped their phone conversation and complained to the principal who suspended Nirmala Devi. She was later arrested by the Virudhanagar police in April 2018.
Welcoming the grant of bail to Nirmala Devi as a case of delayed justice, human rights activist Henry Tipapahgne said the CB-CID, which had confined the probe to university officials, should tell the court whether it had investigated the role of the Governor.
The Raj Bhavan vehemently denied any involvement after Nirmala Devi claimed proximity to the Governor who is also chancellor of all universities.