Interim bail granted even in murder, attempt to murder and corruption cases too
The Madras High Court has been lenient in granting interim bail to the accused even in murder, attempt to murder and corruption cases by taking into consideration various factors including the threat posed by the pandemic COVID-19.
Justices A.D. Jagadish Chandira and P. Rajamanickam have ordered the release of many accused on interim bail after observing, in their individual orders, that the interim relief was being granted in view of the extremity of the present situation.
When a bail petition filed by K. Appu came up for hearing, Justice Rajamanickam found that the petitioner had been accused of being part of a gang that had abducted an individual in an auto rickshaw and murdered him due to personal enmity.
The Ice House police in the city limits had arrested some of the accused on January 20. However, since then, four of them had obtained bail. Considering all these facts as well as the threat of COVID-19, the judge granted interim bail till April 27 to the present petitioner too.
Though Additional Public Prosecutor M. Mohamed Riyaz objected to grant of bail and stated that investigation was yet to complete, the judge ordered the petitioner’s release on execution of own bond for ₹10,000 to the satisfaction of Superintendent of Central Prison at Puzhal near here.
The court passed similar orders with respect to lorry driver Ramesh who had been booked by Kalasapakkam police in Tiruvannamalai district for attempting to murder a Special Sub Inspector of Police when the latter attempted to prevent smuggling of river sand on January 7.
Since he was under incarceration for nearly three months and a preventive detention order invoked against the petitioner had been subsequently revoked, the judge ordered his release too on own bond for ₹10,000 to the satisfaction of the Superintendent of Central Prison in Vellore.
In yet another order, Justice Chandira granted interim bail till April 28 to R. Elavarason, Superintending Engineer in Regional office of the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in Chennai and M. Murugaboopathi, Divisional Engineer of Tamil Nadu State Highways department.
According to the petitioners’ counsel Abdul Saleem and S. Elambharathi, their clients had been booked by Central Bureau of Investigation on charges of demanding and accepting a bribe of ₹2.76 lakh from Vetrivel of Madurai based IVLR Concrete to clear his government contract bills.
Though the advocates claimed that the petitioners were innocent, Special Public Prosecutor K. Srinivasan opposed their plea on the ground that cash to the tune of ₹7.5 lakh, ₹10.59 lakh and ₹7.5 lakh was recovered from the residences Elavarason, Murugaboopathi and their conduit S. Ovu Reddy respectively.
The SPP also stated that the contractor Vetrivel was yet to be arrested and his anticipatory bail plea was pending in the court. However, the judge on perusing the records, found that the petitioners were arrested on March 5 and they had also been subjected to custodial interrogation.
Taking the factual matrix into consideration apart from the threat of COVID-19, the judge ordered their release on interim bail on own bail bond for ₹10,000 each.
However, when it came to a bail petition filed by a person booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act of 2012, the court desisted from granting any relief and simply adjourned the hearing for the prosecutor to obtain instructions.
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