Petitions filed by CBI to cancel bail dismissed

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Madurai, Feb 23: The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has dismissed petitions filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to cancel the bail granted to 12 people accused in the attack on Sun Network office in the city last year.

On May 9 last, a group of DMK activists hurled petrol bombs and ransacked the office of the Sun Network in which three employees were killed. Police arrested 17 people in this connection and on an appeal the court granted conditional bail to 12 accused.

Passing common orders on the petitions filed before the HC bench, last evening Justice K N Basha granted conditional bail to three people, who were originally denied bail by the Principal Sessions Court, here stating that they were the prime accused in the case.

The Judge said the decision was taken without being swayed by emotions and prejudices and keeping in mind the principles laid down by the apex court on granting bail.

The apex court had held that a detailed examination of materials collected by the prosecution should be avoided while granting bail.

Instead, the courts should examine the evidence briefly to ensure that there was no prejudging and find out the existence or otherwise of a prima facie case.

The Judge also pointed out that the names of the three accused were not mentioned in the FIR.

A police sub-inspector, who had lodged a complaint, too had not named any of them. The three accused were not known to any of the prosecution witnesses and an identification parade was not conducted in the case, he observed.

Justice Basha said though the prosecution had placed reliance only on the photographs and video clippings shot during the attack, there were no records to show that the pictures were shown to the witnesses for identifying the assailants. As per the charge sheet filed before the lower court, the common intention attributed to the accused was only to damage the properties of the Sun Network's office.

He said further there were no allegations of attempting to tamper with the evidence or intimidate the witness against the 12 people, who had already obtained bail. The court also had to consider that the three bail applicants before it were undergoing jail term for more than eight months and the trial was slated to begin shortly.

It is made clear that the trial court may not be carried away by the findings and reasons assigned by this court, while granting the bail to the petitioners as such reasons and findings are given only for the limited purpose of granting the relief of bail and it is for the prosecution to prove its case by adducing clear, cogent and consistent evidence, the judge said.


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