The Kerala High Court on Monday granted bail in Palarivattom Flyover scam case to T O Sooraj, former Secretary to Kerala Public Works Department, Sumeet Goyal, Managing Director of RDS Projects(contractor) and M T Thankachan, former Additional General Manager of Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala. The Court had earlier denied bail to the three accused while granting bail to another accused Benny Paul, General Manager of KITCO Ltd.
Justice Sunil Thomas of Kerala High Court, who had dismissed the earlier bail application considering the serious allegations and nature of offence, now granted bail after considering the status of the case and progress of the investigation.
In response to the contention of the prosecution that the accused are likely to influence the witnesses, the Court placed in reliance on the recent orders of Supreme Court and Delhi High Court granting bail to P Chidambaram and D K Shivakumar respectively.
"However, they have no case that, either during the course of investigation or after the dismissal of the earlier bail applications, any of the above accused has influenced or attempted to influence any of the witnesses. Hence the contention regarding the possibility of influencing the witnesses remain within the domain of an apprehension."
The Court noted that the investigation has considerably progressed as the investigation has no case that the further detention of accused is required for the recovery of any further evidence and 10 more witnesses have been questioned and their statements recorded since the dismissal of earlier application for bail. The court also viewed no chance for tampering of evidence as the considerable materials relied on by the prosecution are documentary in nature and has already been seized.
The crux of the allegation against the accused was that they along with other unnamed accused entered into a criminal conspiracy to award contract of building the flyover to RDS who was facing financial difficulties at that time and to cause financial gain to RDS and corresponding financial loss to the public exchequer. There were irregularities in awarding the tender to RDS Project. The contractor was sanctioned an advance of Rs 8 crores, contrary to established procedure.
The flyover was shut for traffic last May after cracks were detected in the bridge. The HC had recently stayed the demolition of the bridge on the ground that load test was not done to test its strength.
Click here to download order