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HC defers hearing on Manivelan's bail plea till tomorrow

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Mar 22 (UNI) The Bombay High Court today deferred till tomorrow hearing on the bail plea of Palaniappan Manivelan, a co-accused in the case of disproportionate assets, registered against Mumbai police suspended 'encounter specialist' Daya Nayak.

Defence counsel Satish Maneshinde pleaded for bail on the ground that the prosecution has failed to file a chargesheet in the case in the stipulated 60 days.

Manivelan was arrested on January 22 and the 60-day period expired today.

Manivelan, along with Nayak's wife Komal, have been charged with laundering the allegedly ill-gotten wealth amassed by the suspended police sub-inspector.

When the defence counsel cited precedents that accused have had been granted bail when prosecution failed in filing chargesheets in the stipulated period, Justice V M Kanade said if such precedents exist, the accused could go back to the trial court for seeking the bail.

The Sessions Court here had already rejected Manivelan's bail plea on February 14.

But the counsel contended that since the High Court was hearing the bail plea and was empowered to grant it under section 167 of Cr P C, he prefered making the request before this court only.

Opposing it, Special Public Prosecutor Y S Shinde argued that though chargesheet has not been filed within the stipulated time, the investigation was at a crucial stage and releasing the accused now could hamper it. He also said ''since prime accused Nayak is still in custody, prosecution might bring both the accused face-to-face and hence bail should not be granted.'' Claiming that Malivelan has been falsely implicated in the case, the defence counsel said he has been facing inquiry in the case since December 3, 2004 when Mumbai police had asked its anti-corruption bureau (ACB) to probe it following complaint of a journalist. He further said Manivelan had been regularly visiting the ACB office for nine months before his arrest and now even 60 days after his arrest, the prosecution has failed to file the chargesheet and, therefore, the High Court in the changed circumstances should grant him bail.

Refuting the prosecution charge of Manivelan having had conducted illegal bank transactions, the defence counsel also furnished its details, saying all the bank transactions were legal and within the Banking Regulation Act. He further said ''Manivelan is suffering from liver pain and is on medication from Government J J hospital, adding he needs special diet which is not possible if he remained in custody.'' UNI XR-ARM-VP SA HS KN2117

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