The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted interim bail to Soni Sori, a tribal schoolteacher of Dantewada, and her relative, journalist Lingaram Kodopi, who are facing trial on the charge of having helped to arrange ‘protection money’ payoffs from steel giant Essar to Maoists in Chhattisgarh.

Ms. Sori and Mr. Kodopi were granted bail since the Chhattisgarh government did not produce an officer for assisting the court in examining the case records it had submitted earlier.

The next hearing is scheduled for December 3.

Ms. Sori, 38, and Mr. Kodopi have been in jail for the past two years, facing multiple criminal charges, ranging from manslaughter to criminal conspiracy.

Ms. Sori is alleged to have been tortured in police custody and is still suffering from multiple injuries.

Mr. Kodopi, who played a decisive role in exposing the massacre of villagers at Tadmetla in Bijapur district, claims his life and career have been ruined.