The Supreme Court of India on Friday granted conditional bail to Member of Parliament (MP) from Narasapuram in Andhra Pradesh, Raghu Rama Krishnam Raju, who was arrested under sedition charges by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) last week. Raju is a rebel MP from the ruling YSRCP led by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. The Supreme Court Bench comprising Justice Vineet Saran and Justice BR Gavai was hearing his petition, which alleged that he was subjected to custodial torture.
Taking medical reports submitted by the Medical Board of Army Hospital Secundrabad into consideration, the SC bench observed that the accused MP could have possibly been subjected to custodial torture, and added that the bail application of the petitioner could be considered. The SC Bench said that the charges on the accused were not such that they require custodial interrogation and also pointed out that Raju had recently undergone a bypass surgery.
Order: 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.— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) May 21, 2021
However, the bail granted to the MP is conditional and he shall not influence the witnesses or try to interfere with the investigation, the court said. The investigating officer should give him prior notice of at least 24 hours, before he is required for investigation, during which he is allowed to have his advocate present. The MP was also asked to furnish Rs 1 lakh as a bond before the SC in 10 days. The MP is also barred from presenting himself before “video or social media” to talk about this case. The SC has further directed that the petitioner should not display his “injuries" to the press.
Earlier this week, the SC sought a fresh medical examination from the Army Hospital in Secunderabad while hearing his petition after the Andhra Pradesh High Court had refused to entertain his bail plea.
The sedition case was registered against the controversial MP by the Mangalagiri CID police. The case has been registered under section 124(A) (sedition), section 153(B) (committing offence that threatens national integrity) and section 505 (public mischief) read with 120(B) (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).