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Tantri case: Shobha John granted bail

Justice JM James also granted bail to co-accused Vigil while rejecting the bail plea of another accused Anil Kumar.

india Updated: Sep 19, 2006 13:56 IST
United News of India
United News of India

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday granted conditional bail to Shobha John, prime accused in the Sabarimala tantri attack case, and directed the absconding accused Bechu Rahman to surrender before the police on October 3.

Justice JM James also granted bail to co-accused Vigil while rejecting the bail plea of another accused Anil Kumar, after noting that he was a habitual offender.

The court directed Bechu Rahman, who had filed an anticipatory bail application, to surrender before the Investigating Officer on October 3 between 9.30 amand 10.00 am.

The investigating officer shall interrogate and produce Rahman before the magistrate on the same day and the magistrate shall pass the necessary orders also on the same day on his bail plea, Justice James directed.

The high court warned Shobha John, who has been described by the police as a key link in an alleged sex racket in the city, not to make any statements or declarations regarding the investigation of the case in public or before the media.

The court imposed this condition on the submission of the Director General of Prosecution that if Shobha was released on bail, there was every likelihood of her blackmailing the sacked Sabarimala tantri Kandararu Mohanararu and others.

While accepting the bail plea of Shobha John, the court noted that she and Vigil were arrested on August 2 and were in police custody for four days. It also observed that the investigation in the case was almost complete and recovery of articles had already been effected.

The police opposed the bail plea on the ground that they should not be released till Bechu Rahman, alleged to have organised the goonda gang which attacked the tantri in Shobha John's flat in Kochi on July 23, was arrested.

The court directed Shobha John and Vigil to furnish bail bond for Rs 50,000 each along with two solvent sureties of the like amount.

They have also been directed to appear before the investigating officer on every Wednesday and Saturday for two months and thereafter once in a week for another two months.

They shall not interfere with the investigation or threaten witnesses or cause any hinderance to the investigation, the court added.

First Published: Sep 19, 2006 13:56 IST