HC strikes down 'onerous bail conditions'



Madurai: The Madras High Court has come down on a Judicial Magistrate for imposing "onerous conditions totally unknown to law" while granting bail to a suspected Al Umma activist, an accused in the case involving planting of a pipe bomb in BJP leader L K Advani's yatra route in October 2011.

The magistrate at Tirumangalam had said that the man, Karuvai Hakeem, should execute a bond with two sureties by his blood relations.

Justice A Selvam of the High Court bench here in his recent order allowing Hakeeem's petition, deleted the portion relating to sureties and said it was sufficient if he executed a Rs 10,000 bond along with two sureties each for a like sum to the satisfaction of the Magistrate concerned.

The petitioner's counsel said his client was in prison for more than 140 days though he was entitled to statutory bail within 90 days of his arrest as police had failed to file a chargesheet. The delay in obtaining bail was due to several impediments like inability of blood relatives to give sureties as they were bereft of property.

He referred to the 1978 judgement of Supreme Court in the Moti Ram vs State of Madhya Pradesh case, where it disapproved the practice of imposing onerous conditions while granting bail.

Hakeem, arrested here on November 27, 2011 by the Special Investigation Team, is a close associate of Fakruddin and Bilal Mallick, suspected to be the main accused and absconding since the incident was reported.

The pipe bomb that was unearthed from under a bridge and defused on October 27 at Alampatti village, about 30km from here on the route of Advani's Jan Chetna yatra. Subsequently, the BJP leader's route was diverted.

PTI