SC grants bail to YSRCP MP Raghu Rama Krishna Raju in sedition case

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday grated bail to YSR Congress MP K. Raghu Rama Krishnam Raju from Andhra Pradesh, who was arrested by Guntur CID on May 14 for alleged sedition and promotion of communal hatred over his speeches.

A Bench of Justices Vineet Saran and BR Gavai observed that custodial interrogation would be required as all statements of Petitioner are on record. The bench also took note of the medical condition of the petitioner, having regard to the heart surgery underwent by him last year. The bench also opined on the basis of the medical report from Army Hospital, Secundarabad, that possibilities of the petitioner’s ill-treatment in custody cannot be ruled out.

However, the bench has imposed a condition that Raju should not give media interviews and make press statements during the period of investigation. He has to cooperate with the investigation and should not influence the witnesses. He should respond whenever he is called upon by the Investigating Officer. He shall be given at least 24 hrs notice by IO.

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He should also furnish personal bond of Rupees one lakh and provide two securities of the like amount before the trial court within one week.

The Division Bench allowed Raju’s appeal against an order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court which had refused to entertain his bail application and had asked him to approach the Sessions Court.

The Supreme Court noted that the jurisdiction of the trial court as well as High Court under Section 439 CrPC are “concurrent” and merely because the High Court was approached by Petitioner before the trial court, it would not mean that High Court was not to consider the plea.

It held that the High Court ought to have considered the bail application on merits. Since “much water has flown” after the High Court order, the Supreme Court said it thought it fit to consider the matter on merits.

It ordered,

“The FIR was lodged only after detailed inquiry by State CID. Considering the totality of the circumstances and also the health of the Petitioner, specially that he had undergone heart bypass surgery, we deem it just and proper that the Petitioner be enlarged on bail.”

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