One of the main accused in the death of the 23-year-old techie Subhasri because of an illegal flex banner, former AIADMK councilor S Jayagopal, has been granted conditional bail by the Madras High Court.
The court granted bail to Jayagopal and his brother-in-law Meghanathan on Monday and directed Jayagopal to pay Rs 25,000 each to the Cancer Institute Chennai and Government Stanley Hospital for treatment of poor patients. The court also ordered Jayagopal to stay in Madurai to avoid influencing witnesses, and appear in a police station there every day for signing, while Meghanathan has been told to sign his bail register in Chennai till the duo receive their summons from Alandur court.
In his bail petition, Jayagopal had accused the Chennai police of having 'mechanically' added his name to the FIR with an 'ulterior motive.' He denied any role in the installation of illegal banners for his son's wedding – one of these banners flew off the pole it was attached to, falling on Subhashri as she was riding her bike, leading to an accident with a lorry that was behind her. Subhashri died in the accident on September 12. Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had attended the wedding and was featured prominently on the flex boards along the Thoraipakkam-Pallavaram road. Jayagopal had argued that the AIADMK cadres had put up the banners out of ‘love and affection.’
Two cases were registered against Jayagopal for putting up hoardings illegally without permission from the Chennai Corporation. One case was filed against him in the Pallikaranai police station under Section 3 of The Tamil Nadu Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1959 (for placing advertisements on the road illegally) and Section 326 of the Indian Penal Code (causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means).
It may be recalled that Jayagopal had been on the run following the death of Subhasri. After absconding for two weeks, he was nabbed by the police from a hideout in Krishnagiri district on September 27. Shortly after his arrest, Meghanathan was also arrested.
Subhasri was returning home from work, and was riding her bike on the Pallavaram-Thuraipakkam radial road in Chennai when the accident happened.