Says the actor can be released on bail on his executing a bond for Rs.50,000

The Kerala High Court on Thursday asked film actor Kalabhavan Mani to surrender before the investigating officer on or before May 25 in a case registered against him and his friends for assaulting a couple of forest officers at Athirappilly.

Justice S.S. Satheesachandran issued the directive on an anticipatory bail petition of Mani.

Disposing of the petition, the court directed the actor to surrender and cooperate with the investigation. The court also ordered that after his arrest and interrogation, he shall be produced before the Magistrate Court without delay and the Magistrate shall release him on bail. The court said that he should be released on bail on his executing a bond for Rs.50,000 with two solvent sureties for getting bail.

The court asked Mani to report before the police as and when demanded by the investigation officer. The other conditions for bail are; he should not intimidate any witnesses or make any attempt to destroy the evidence.

The court observed that there was reason to suspect the complicity of the petitioner in the offence alleged against him. And at this stage, much significance could be attached to the counter case filed by his friend’s wife against the forest officials.

The prosecution case was that the forest officials had stopped the car in which Mani was travelling with Gopinath and his wife and requested them to open the boot of the vehicle. However, he refused to do so and abused the officials. The vehicle then sped away. A few minutes later the vehicle returned, the petitioner got out and assaulted the officials using stick.

The police had charged Mani with offences under Sections 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from doing his duty), 294 (b) (using obscene words) and 506 (i) (criminal intimidation) of the IPC, prosecution said.

The Director-General of Prosecution pointed out that that two similar cases had been registered against Mani for assaulting police officials and preventing them from discharging their duties.

The court observed that the petitioner was not entitled to the discretionary relief of anticipatory bail. There was enough room to suspect that the petitioner had intimidated, abused, and assaulted officials and prevented them from discharging their official duties.

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