Chennai: The Madras High Court granted conditional bail to former AIADMK councillor C Jayagopal and his relative, the suspects in the 23-year old techie Subhasree’s death, which occurred due to an illegal banner (that was erected on the median of an arterial road, for a wedding in Jayagopal’s house) which fell on her, following which she was run over by a lorry.
Jayagopal was arrested on September 27 on two charges - one for illegally putting up the banners, and another one for causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means under Section 326 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Shortly after he was arrested, his brother-in-law Meghanathan was also picked up.
Justice C V Karthikeyan granted the relief with a condition that Jayagopal should stay in Madurai to avoid influencing witnesses. He was also directed to pay Rs.25000 each to the Cancer Institute and Government Stanley Hospital in Chennai for treatment of poor patients, he is also required to appear in a police station every day for signing.
Jayagopal’s brother-in-law Meghanathan has been told to sign his bail register in Chennai till the duo receive their summons from the Alandur Court.
In his bail plea, Jayagopal had alleged that the Chennai Police had ‘mechanically’ added his name to the FIR with an ‘ulterior motive’. He denied any role in having erected the banners for his son’s wedding and stated that the party cadres had put them up out of ‘love and affection’.
Following the death of Subhasri, Jayagopal had been on the run, it was only after a two-week hunt that the police nabbed him from Krishnagiri district.
In the aftermath of the techie’s tragic death, there was widespread outrage on social media and the Madras High Court too had lashed out at the state’s political parties for allowing the banner culture to persist. The court had also ordered an interim compensation of Rs.5 lakhs for the girl’s family. The Court also ordered the Commissioner of police to monitor the investigation of the two cases filed in the above regard.
The severe criticism and harsh remarks from the court had prompted leaders of major parties to issue statements to their respective cadre on refraining from the banner culture.