28/03/2016 3:37 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Rohith Vemula Row: Judge Hearing Bail Plea Of Students Is Married To A BJP Loyalist

Activist of a Dalit organization participate in a candle light vigil holding photographs of Indian student Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad, India, Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016. The activists were protesting the death of Vemula who, along with four others, was barred from using some facilities at his university in the southern tech-hub of Hyderabad. The protesters accused Hyderabad University's vice chancellor and a federal minister of unfairly demanding punishment for the five lower-caste students after they clashed last year with a group of students supporting the governing Hindu nationalist party. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)

NEW DELHI -- A case of conflict of interest has emerged in connection with Dhamavarapu Varoodhini, a metropolitan magistrate in Hyderabad, and the bail hearing of students embroiled in the Rohith Vemula row.

The Hindustan Times reported today that Judge Varoodhini is married to M. Vijaykanth, an active member of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Sangh Parivar.

Judge Varoodhini will hear the bail pleas of 27 students and two teachers, who were arrested during the protests against Vice Chancellor Podile Appa Rao, who returned to campus after two months, last week.

Many students believe that Vemula killed himself because of persecution by the University at the behest of BJP leaders.

The conflict of interest in the bail hearing runs even deeper.

HT reported that Vijaykanth, the judge's husband, works in the law firm of Ramachander Rao, a BJP member of the Telangana legislative council.

Rao is one of the men against whom a case was registered under the SC/ST Atrocities Act after Vemula's sucide in January, and Dontha Prashanth, who filed the complaint against him, is also among the students who want to get bail.

Vijaykanth told HT that he was married to Varoodhini, but refused to acknowledge any conflict of interest. "We don’t have interest in these matters,” he said.

“I don’t like the judiciary to be politicized. I have no idea. I have nothing to do with it," Rao told HT.

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