The Madras High Court on Monday granted bail to S.Srinivasan, brother of PMK founder Ramadoss, who was arrested by the CBI in connection with the murder of the car driver of Minister C.V.Shanmugam in 2006.
Justice M.M.Sundresh gave the bail to eight other accused including S.Srinivasan, who were cited as accused in the case.
The case of the prosecution is that there was a political enmity between the two parties during the Assembly election in the year 2006. C.V.Shanmugam was a minister for Education and Commercial Tax at the relevant point of time. N.M.Karunanidhi was fielded against him.
The accused persons conspired with each other and on May 8, 2006, sent hired criminal elements to attack C.V.Shanmugam and his men. Muruganandham, a driver, one of the persons belonging to the group of C.V.Shanmugam, died and others were injured . The properties of Shanmugam were also damaged. A case was registered by the local police by Tindivanam in 2006 and taken up for investigation. However, following a petition filed by Shanmugam, the High Court directed the change of investigation from the local police to the CBI in 2011. Accordingly, the case was registered by the CBI on November 18, 2011 against Dr Ramadoss and 21 others.
The petitioners S.Srinivasan, N.M.Karunanidhi and seven others having been arrested and subjected to custodial interrogation, filed applications before Jurisdictional Sessions Court. Their applications were rejected. Hence, they filed the present petitions seeking enlargement on bail. Thereafter the investigation was completed by CBI and the charge sheet was filed on April 02, 2012.
Granting them bail, Justice M.M.Sundresh said an accused is presumed to be innocent until found to be guilty and a prolonged custody can not be justified by perceiving it as a punitive measure. The other accused who are also said to have been involved by various witnesses as per the original complaint have been released on bail long back.
The judge further said: “There is no material to suggest about the possible tampering with the witnesses if any by the petitioners as the attack is said to have to be made by the members of one political party against each other. Incidentally the de facto complainant's (C.V.Shanmugam) party is ruling the State at present in which he is minister. The petitioners are also hailing from the locality and they are not likely to abscond.