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Veterinary student suicide case: Kerala High Court grants bail to 19 accused

Justice C S Dias said that on an overall consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case, 'prima facie, I do not find sufficient material to establish any positive act on the part of the accused to have instigated or aided the deceased to commit suicide'.
Last Updated : 01 June 2024, 03:01 IST
Last Updated : 01 June 2024, 03:01 IST

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Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Friday granted bail to the 19 students accused of abetting the suicide of a veterinary student in February and observed that there was not sufficient material to establish any act on their part that instigated the victim to take his own life.

Sidharthan J S (20), a second-year Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry student at the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at Pookode in Wayanad, was found hanging inside the bathroom of his hostel on February 18.

Justice C S Dias said that on an overall consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case, 'prima facie, I do not find sufficient material to establish any positive act on the part of the accused to have instigated or aided the deceased to commit suicide'.

The court also observed there was an absence of injuries on the victim's body corresponding to his alleged brutal assault by the accused.

It further observed that it was 'plausible' that the accused only intended to chasten the deceased and not instigate him to commit suicide.

The court's observation came while granting bail to the 19 accused in the case which is being investigated by the CBI.

Justice Dias further said that the accused have been in judicial custody for more than 90 days, do not have any criminal antecedents and are students aged between 22 to 24 years.

'On an overall consideration of the facts, the rival submissions made across the Bar and the materials placed on record, and my observations made above, I am of the definite view that the petitioners are entitled to be released on bail,' Justice Dias said.

The court said that the accused shall be released on bail subject to each one of them executing a bond for Rs 50,000 with two solvent sureties of the like amount.

Imposing other bail conditions, the court said that the accused shall appear before the investigating officer as and when directed, shall not directly or indirectly try to influence witnesses or tamper with the evidence, and shall not leave the state or enter Wayanad district till the conclusion of the trial.

The order came on the plea of the 19 accused seeking bail in the case.

The police in its remand report regarding one of the accused in the case had told a subordinate court that the victim was assaulted viciously. The report had said that a belt and a cable wire were used to assault Sidharthan.

It had said that his classmates and seniors held a public trial inside the hostel, alleging that he had misbehaved with a girl student of the college.

It had said that the assault began on February 16 at around 9 PM and lasted till 2 AM on February 17.

Police have charged the 19 accused in the case under sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon), and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Kerala Prohibition Of Ragging Act.

The case was later handed over to the CBI by the state government on the request of the student's family.

The victim's parents have claimed that some of his college mates told them that he was beaten to death by some local SFI leaders and activists.

The student's death had led to widespread protests against the SFI and the ruling Left government by the Congress-led opposition and its various wings.

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Published 01 June 2024, 03:01 IST

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