Special Correspondent

Sankararaman murder case

CHENNAI: Nearly two years after his arrest, Appu alias Krishnaswamy was ordered to be released on conditional bail in connection with the Sankararaman murder case.

"The person who had not actually assaulted the deceased and sought to be impleaded under Section 120(b) of the Indian Penal Code, in my opinion, need not be allowed to suffer further detention when the end of the case within a reasonable time does not appear to be bright, that too considering the long incarceration of the petitioner from December 19, 2004," Justice M. Thanikachalam observed in his order.

He also pointed out that the Supreme Court had stayed the trial.

"It is not known when the trial will begin after the disposal of the case in the Supreme Court."

The conditions

Allowing the bail plea of Mr. Appu, the judge directed him to execute a bond for Rs.1 lakh besides furnishing two sureties for a like sum each.

He was also cautioned against attempting to influence prosecution witnesses or tampering with evidence.

He should stay at Krishnagiri and appear before the I Judicial Magistrate there at 10 a.m. daily until further orders.

When the matter came up for hearing, senior counsel N. Natarajan said the prime accused in the case had already been released on bail, and there was no reason to detain Appu any more.

Government advocate (criminal side) A. Saravanan said his release would affect further trial of the case as he might threaten witnesses and tamper with evidence.