The Kerala High Court has granted bail to an interior designer who was arrested in connection with the deaths of three people, including two models, in a car accident which allegedly resulted as he was chasing them in his four-wheeler. Justice Gopinath P, while granting the relief to Saiju M Thankachan, said that prima facie and for the purpose of considering his entitlement to bail, the provisions of Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) may not be attracted even if all the allegations against the accused interior designer were true.
According to the prosecution, investigation in the case has revealed instances of various other crimes, including those under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, committed by the accused and the CCTV visuals, including those of traffic cameras, show the manner in which he caused the accident. Miss Kerala 2021 Ansi Kabeer (25) and runner-up Anjana Shajan (24), were killed in a car accident on the Vyttila-Palarivattom Bypass in Kochi in the wee hours of November 1, 2021. Thankachan was arrested in the case on November 27, 2021. A third person, who was also in the car, succumbed to his injuries a few days later. The driver, who escaped with injuries, was later arrested and is the first accused in the case.
Thankachan is accused of stalking the models from a bar and later intercepting their car at Kundannoor in Kochi city. Later, the women sped away in their car to avoid him and he allegedly chased them in his vehicle, police had said.
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The state urged the High Court that Thankachan may not be granted bail as he was very wealthy and influential, and granting him the relief may not be conducive for his successful prosecution. The government also told the court that if it was going to grant him the relief, then stringent conditions may be imposed on him.
Thankachan's lawyer told the court that the driver of the car which met with the accident was in a highly inebriated condition, and this alone could be the reason why he lost control of the vehicle and not because the accused was chasing them. The court, thereafter, granted Thankachan bail subject to his executing a bond for a sum of Rs 1 lakh with two solvent sureties each for the like amount.
It also directed Thankachan to appear before the Investigating Officer of the case on every Monday and Saturday at 9 AM and not to leave the local limits of Ernakulam District without permission from the jurisdictional court.