The Orissa High Court has granted bail to an accused in the Kandhamal nun rape case.

The order comes even as the district and sessions court here, which was conducting trial in the sensational case, is all set to begin cross examination of defence witnesses.

Justice C R Dash yesterday granted bail to Somnath Pradhan, a native of Baliguda in Kandhamal district and arrested by the crime branch police in June 2010.

The accused shall furnish a bail bond of Rs 40,000 and two sureties of like amount before the concerned lower court, the Hign Court said in its order adding that the concerned court shall impose any other condition(s) it deems fit while executing the bail.

With Somnath getting bail, only four accused in the case now remain in custody out of 22 persons arrested in the case.

The crime branch had filed charge sheets against at least 30 persons.

The nun was allegedly assaulted and raped on August 25, 2008 in Kandhamal district during the communal riots which erupted in the aftermath of the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Laxmanananda Saraswati.