KOCHI: Observing that bail is the rule and jail is an exception, the Kerala High Court on Monday granted bail to 10 CPM workers accused in a case related to the murder of an Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) worker Mansoor, who was killed in post-assembly poll violence in Panoor, Kannur in April this year.
A group of CPM workers allegedly waylaid him and his brother Muhsin, a UDF poll agent, near their home and attacked them after the assembly poll. Later, Mansoor succumbed to injuries.
Justice K Haripal granted bail to four persons- KK Shinos, O Sangeeth, KK Sreerag, KP Suhail, P Aswanth, O Aneesh, EK Bijesh, O Vipin, AP Prasob, and Nijil, who were allegedly involved in the murder,
Senior Advocate P Vijayabhanu, counsel for the petitioners submitted that at the conclusion of the investigation, the police has filed a charge sheet on July 5. All recoveries have been made and therefore, their further detention is not warranted. Even 10-year-old cases are pending in the Thalassery sessions division and therefore, detaining the petitioners indefinitely in jail is not in the public interest.
The mother of deceased Mansoor impleaded in the case and opposed the bail plea. Her counsel submitted that it was a pre-planned political murder committed by the activists of the ruling party, on the eve of the general election, on April 6, 2021. According to him, granting bail to such persons who are suspects of a heinous crime will send a wrong message to the public.
The Sessions Judge Thalassery reported that there are 5498 cases are pending. The court said that the number of cases pending in the court is very high and it is unlikely that the trial of the case will be able to be taken up in the near future. The investigating officer informed the court that though the native place of the accused persons and the place of occurrence is politically sensitive in nature, the law and order situation is at present satisfactory. He added that chances of occurring untoward incidents connected with this cannot be ruled out. The police are mindful of the situation and equipped with sufficient force to maintain law and order in that locality, the officer informed.
“I have no doubt that the incident was the culmination of political rivalry between the activists of the CPIM, who are the petitioners, and rival political group-Indian Union Muslim League. Thalassery is a hub of political rivalry and clashes,” observed the court.
The court pointed out that all the material witnesses are members or sympathizers of the IUML, a rival political fraction of the accused. “Normally, such witnesses are not susceptible to any kind of influence, that might be exerted by the accused in the event of their release on bail,” said the court.
The court held that the accused should not enter the Kannur Revenue district until the examination of all material witnesses except for the purpose of attending courts. They should execute a bond for Rs 2 lakh eas with two solvent sureties each for the like sum. They should surrender their passport within ten days and should not try to contact or influence the witnesses, the court said.