MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court granted bail to one of the accused in the Tirunelveli stone quarry accident case considering his age and health. The petitioner K Selvaraj, who is the land owner of the quarry, was arrested and remanded to judicial custody on May 20. He said that he leased the land to Shankaranarayanan, who obtained a licence for mining, and from then on he was not involved in any mining operation.
Sources said Selvaraj is 82-years-old and has spinal disc problem and breathing issues after getting infected with Covid-19. As per the court direction, he had already paid `15 lakh as compensation for the deceased and `3 lakh each to the injured persons.
Considering his age, ill health, and the compensation paid, Justice K Murali Shankar granted the conditional bail. The court has ordered Selvaraj to stay in Tiruchy and appear before the Cantonment Police Station daily at 10.30 am for a period of 30 days and thereafter appear before the Munnerpallam police station until further orders. If he absconds, a fresh FIR can be registered under Section 229A of the IPC, the court added.
However, one of the injured, Vijay, filed an intervening petition raising objection for granting bail saying that Selvaraj is an influential person politically and monetarily and would try to tamper with the witnesses. The police failed to file a counter affidavit raising objection for the bail petition. The government counsel said the real operation is being managed by Selvaraj and one Kumar as all the profits were to the accounts of them.