KOCHI: In a pertinent observation, the Kerala High Court has said even knowledge of the criminal designs may not be sufficient to prosecute a person on the charge of criminal conspiracy and “what is required is an active meeting of minds to carry out a criminal design”.
The court made the remark while granting bail to three CPM activists involved in the murder of RSS activist Biju at Ramanthali in Kannur on May 12. The prosecution had alleged the first five accused - T P Anoop, P Sathyan, Rejeesh, Prajeesh and Bijilesh - had murdered Biju while the other fellow accused, including Shankumar, Naiju and Pratheesh were involved in the criminal conspiracy.
Granting bail to Shankumar, Naiju and Pratheesh by giving them the benefit of doubt, the HC held the prosecution had failed to establish the conspiracy. “Definite materials are not there to indicate these three persons had an active meeting of minds with the others, constituting a clear case of criminal conspiracy,” the court said.
However, the court rejected the bail plea of the other accused considering their criminal antecedents.
Rineesh had been involved in 15 other cases, T P Anoop in 13 crimes, P Sathyan in two cases and fifth accused Bijilesh in three cases, the court said after going through the police report. A perusal of the materials indicate there is a real possibility of the trial process being obstructed by the accused, the HC held. “The interests of the prosecution and also the broader interests of society require and demand the accused - one to three, five and seven - must remain in custody. The court is of the view it is inappropriate to grant them bail,” the court said.