The Kerala High Court has granted anticipatory bail to Sujith Narayanan accused of threatening the Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan on flight.

The Single Bench of Justice Viju Abraham observed that while two other accused who were alleged to be involved in the incident were arrested but there was no attempt to arrest the petitioner- Sujith Narayanan.

The Court also noted that custodial interrogation of the petitioner was not necessary, but since the investigation was in its initial stage the court asked the petitioner to co-operate with the investigation.

According to the case of the prosecution, the accused persons including the petitioner had shouted threats and rushed toward the Chief Minister. Allegedly they posed threat to the safety of the Chief Minister and the security of the aircraft and attempted to commit murder.

It was further alleged that the petitioner and his companions caused hurt to the informant, the security staff of the Chief Minister, and deterred him from discharging his public duty.

Advocate V.S. Chandrasekharan appearing on behalf of the petitioner contended that the allegations made against the petitioner were false. He submitted that after the flight had landed at Thiruvanthapuram airport and when the passengers started alighting, two passengers who were workers of Youth Congress and were known to the petitioner, shouted some political slogans. He further submitted that thereupon E.P Jayarajan, former minister and presently convenor of the LDF pushed them back with force and the two passengers fell to the floor of the aircraft.

He argued that the Petitioner went out of the airport premises and met his relatives in a hospital and thereafter he returned to Kannur by train on the same day.

He contended that the petitioner was falsely implicated and that the attempt was made to prevent the petitioner from becoming a witness to the incident and spoke about the brutal assault committed by Shri. E.P Jayarajan on the other two accused persons, which he had recorded on his mobile phone.

On the contrary Director General of Prosecution, T.A.Shaji, argued that the acts alleged to be committed by the petitioner were part of a conspiracy to attack and murder the Chief Minister. He submitted that all the accused were named in the FIR. He further contended that the petitioner was involved in 2 other criminal cases. He submitted that the investigation was in progress and that custodial interrogation of the petitioner was necessary.

The Court observed that the petitioner was not carrying any weapon and being inside an aircraft, which is a high security zone, there was no possibility for the petitioner to carry any weapon also.

The Court also observed that while the other two accused persons were arrested there was no attempt to arrest the petitioner and the petitioner went out of the aircraft like any other passenger.

On the contention that custodial interrogation of the petitioner was required to unravel the larger conspiracy, the Court observed "I am not persuaded to think that custodial interrogation of the petitioner is required for that purpose, also considering the fact that two other accused is already in judicial/police custody and are thoroughly interrogated."

"It is pertinent to note that the petitioner is alleged to have been involved in 2 cases but it does not appear to be very serious. Though the prosecution apprehends that petitioner will flee justice/tamper evidence, such apprehensions can be allayed by imposing conditions," the Court held further.

The Court granted bail to the petitioner with the following conditions:

• The petitioner shall surrender before the investigating officer on 28.06.2022 at 10 a.m. for interrogation.

• In case the interrogation of the petitioner is not completed that day, it is open to the investigating officer to direct the presence of the petitioner on any other day/days and time which the petitioner shall comply.

• The petitioner shall co-operate with the investigation of the case.

It was further held that if the petitioner is arrested in connection with the above crime, he shall be produced before the jurisdictional court on the very same day and he shall be released on bail on the following conditions:

• Petitioner shall be released on bail on executing a bond of Rs.50,000/- with two solvent sureties for the like sum to the satisfaction of the jurisdictional court.

• Petitioner shall appear before the investigating officer as and when required and shall co-operate with the investigation.

• Petitioner shall surrender his passport. If he does not have a passport, he shall file an affidavit to that effect before the jurisdictional court, within a period of one week from the date of release.

• The Petitioner shall not attempt to interfere with the investigation or to influence or intimidate any witness.

• Petitioner shall not enter Thiruvanthapuram District till filing of charge sheet except to comply with condition No.(ii) or to attend any court proceedings.

• The petitioner shall not involve in any other crime while on bail.

• If any of the aforesaid conditions are violated, the investigating officer, may file an application before the jurisdictional court, for cancellation of bail.

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