KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Monday upheld the order of the Special Court for SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Mannarkad cancelling the bail granted to 11 accused in the case in which Madhu, a 27-year-old tribal living in Attappady, was lynched to death in February 2018.
However, the court set aside the order cancelling the bail of Shamsudhin, the 11th accused in the case.
Justice Kauser Edappagath issued the order while dismissing the petition filed by the accused persons-Marakkar, Aneesh, Biju, Sidhiq of Kallamala in Palakkad, and others challenging the order
The prosecution submitted that there are 16 accused in the case. Out of this, the bail granted to 12 accused stands cancelled by the trial court. The conditions being imposed while granting bail are meant to ensure that setting the accused at large shall not in any manner frustrate the trial.
It is for the trial court to make sure that the conditions in the order granting bail are scrupulously complied with. If any non-compliance with the conditions results in the trial being frustrated or sabotaged, it is for the trial court to take measures to enforce it. It is rather its duty and responsibility to order the arrest of the accused persons and commit them into custody.
“It was an incident that shocked the conscience of society at large. It is quite natural that the public in general is concerned about the fate of the case. The Government, the investigating agency, as well as the prosecution, are eager to see that a free and fair trial is held and the culprits are brought to book and the trial thereof is not frustrated in any manner. In that sense, it is an extraordinary case, which warrants some extraordinary approach and extraordinary measures to achieve that goal,” read the statement submitted by the prosecution.
The counsel for the petitioners submitted that the trial court has no jurisdiction to cancel the bail as it was granted by the High Court in different proceedings. The trial court went wrong by exercising the powers conferred under section 439 (2) to cancel the bail when there is no authorisation given by the High Court to cancel the bail. The prosecution approached the court to cancel the bail of the accused citing the reason that they tried to influence the witnesses.
However, there was no complaint on the part of the witnesses regarding the threat or coercion by the accused persons. The petitioners never interfered in the trial and they are cooperating with the trial, the counsel argued.