Shaji Purushothaman, prime accused in the May 23 Mercedes accident case, on Tuesday moved a petition in the Kerala High Court seeking anticipatory bail.

Justice S.S. Satheesachandran of the High Court reserved his order on the petition after hearing counsel for the petitioner and Director-General of Prosecution T. Asaf Ali

The police allegation against Shaji was that under the influence of liquor he drove the car in a rash and negligent manner and caused the accident. Three children who were sleeping near the pavement were injured. One boy, Muniraj, died later. Another child was in critical condition.

Shaji, who has given his address in his petition as Pattathanam, Kollam, said in his petition that the Kerala High Court had the jurisdiction to pass orders on his bail plea. His anticipatory bail petition was dismissed by the Madras High Court earlier.

Shaji alleged that a case had been registered against him due to the influence exerted on politicians by his business rivals. In fact, he was not driving the vehicle when the accident took place. It was one Kumar who was driving the vehicle, Shaji claimed.

The Director-General of Prosecution while opposing the bail petition submitted that the Madras High Court had already dismissed his anticipatory bail petition earlier. Besides, the Kerala High Court had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition as the offence was not perpetrated in Kerala.

Also, Shaji was not a resident of the State. Therefore, his petition should not be entertained.

The Madras High Court had passed the order rejecting his plea for anticipatory bail, considering him as a resident of Chennai. Mr. Ali submitted that the offence committed by him was very grave.

He also brought to the notice of the court that a Sub-Inspector had been suspended on charges of recording another person’s name as the driver of the vehicle and an Assistant Commisioner was entrusted with the investigation of the crime.

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