Shaji Purushothaman, who was arrested in connection with a drunken driving case that led to the death of one and injured four on May 22, was granted some relief with the Madras High Court on Monday ordering his release on conditional bail.
Justice B. Rajendran granted bail on a second petition by Shaji.
The prosecution’s case was that the petitioner drove a car in a rash and negligent manner under the influence of alcohol and ran over people who were sleeping on the pavement near a hospital on Pantheon Road, Egmore.
The incident caused the death of a 13-year-old boy and injured others.
The petitioner’s counsel said there was a change of circumstance pursuant to the dismissal of the first bail plea on April 8.
Justice Rajendran referred to the counsel’s submission that one of the victims, a young girl, had been discharged from hospital on June 22. Also, Shaji had been in jail for more than 45 days. The judge said a substantial portion of the investigation was over, except for the receipt of laboratory reports, for which a person could not be detained in jail continuously.
At the same time, the judge said, the court was also considering the petitioner’s conduct in absconding from the country, evading arrest and the prosecution’s apprehension that he would abscond again.
Granting bail, Justice Rajendran said the petitioner should execute a bond for Rs. 5 lakh with two sureties, one of which should be that of his close relative, to the satisfaction of the XIV Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore.
Shaji was also ordered to deposit Rs. 5 lakh towards compensation for the deceased. It was open to the family of the deceased to approach the court and seek a withdrawal of this money.
Shaji was further ordered to appear before the police daily for four weeks and thereafter, as and when required for interrogation. He was ordered not leave Chennai city limits until further orders and without obtaining the court’s permission.
Also, he was told not to hamper the investigation or tamper with witnesses.