HC grants bail to CPI-M leader Mani in murder case

Kerala High Court on Thursday granted bail with stringent conditions to former CPI-M functionary M M Mani.

Kochi: Kerala High Court on Thursday granted bail with stringent conditions to former CPI-M functionary M M Mani, arrested in connection with a three-decade old political murder case which was re-opened in the wake of a controversial speech made by him.

Mani, former CPI-M Idukki District Committee Secretary arrested in November last, was ordered by Justice P Bhavadasan to furnish a bond of Rs 25,000 and two sureties for the like amount.

He should appear before the investigating officer every Friday. Mani should not enter Idukki District till the investigation was over other than for appearing before investigating officer, the judge said.

Acceding to the request of DGP, the court also imposed a condition that Mani shall not make any public statement or threaten witnesses and police. He should not induce, threaten, or give promises to witnesses.

The judge orally observed that if cases are re-opened like this, no case will be concluded. The court also expressed doubt about the conspiracy aspect charged against Mani as well as registration of case after conclusion of appeal by high court in the same case.

Senior counsel for Mani, alleged that this was an unprecedented new criminal jurisprudence. For the last 42 days mani was under judicial custody and he was remanded to police custody for three days and was interrogated thoroughly, he stated.

Earlier, his bail application was rejected by the sessions court in Thodupuzha.

According to Mani, he has not committed any offences as alleged by police. The allegations does not constitute any offence as alleged by the police, he stated.

He had sparked a raging row, which put CPI(M) on the defensive, by stating his party had in the past had eliminated some political foes.

Following this, police registered a criminal case against him and two other party activists by re-opening the murder of INTUC activist Anjery Baby 30 years ago.

Mani was arrested and remanded to judicial custody on Nov 21 and sent to the sub-jail in Peerumade in Idukki district after he refused to comply with the police notice to appear for a polygraph test in the case.