The Kerala High Court, on Friday, dismissed a petition filed by N. Abdul Rasheed, suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police and an accused in the case relating to an attack on Kollam-based journalist V.B. Unnithan, challenging the Ernakulam Principal Sessions Court order modifying his bail condition.

The petition was dismissed by Justice S.S. Satheesachandran. The Sessions Court had modified the condition saying that that the petitioner should not enter Kollam district without the permission of the court till the completion of the trial. By the original bail condition, the court had restrained the petitioner from entering the Sasthamcotta police station only. The modification order came on a petition filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The CBI had sought to cancel the bail as the petitioner had threatened Container Santhosh, an accused-turned-approver in the case. The petitioner had contended that the Assistant Superintendent of Police, Kollam, had inquired into the allegation and found that no such incidents took place. However, the Sessions Court had concluded that the report of the Assistant Superintendent of Police was not convincing enough to show that no such incident had occurred. Taking note of the apprehension expressed by the investigation officer and to ensure fair trial and safeguard the life and property of the witnesses, the Sessions Judge was of the opinion that modification of the bail condition was required, if not the extreme step of cancellation of the bail.

The court found that the challenge against the Sessions Court’s order based on the inquiry report prepared by the Assistant Superintendent of Police, which was found unacceptable to the Sessions Judge, could not be given “much value.” The petitioner was a police officer of the same rank of the Assistant Superintendent of Police who conducted the inquiry into the complaint of the approver. He was previously one among the officers in the investigation team.

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    V.B. Unnithan