The Manipur High Court on Tuesday granted bail to the accused in the 2017 Uripok twin murder case in Imphal West which cost the life of a mother and a pregnant daughter.
The accused, identified as Khongbantabam Hitler, son of Kh Imocha of Uripok Khumanthem Leikai, was arrested on June 2, 2017 in connection with the death of the two at Uripok Bachaspati Leikai on May 30, 2017.
Since then, the accused has been serving judicial custody term for more than five years by being an under-trial prisoner of the Fast Track Court (crime against women), Manipur. During the trial, charge was framed against the accused by the court under section 302/316/449 IPC on March 28, 2018.
The accused had filed bail applications at least in four different instances during his judicial custody before the trial court, however, all the four bail applications were rejected.
According to the bail application filed before the high court, the accused has been suffering mental agony and health issues inside the jail, there is no possibility of conducting the trial in the near future and detaining the accused to an indefinite period would hit the fundamental rights enshrined in the Article 21 of the IC.
Acknowledging that the commencement of the alleged offence is disputed by the accused and the merit of the crime cannot be gone into as it would be considered only after the trial, the court has granted the bail application subject to furnishing a PR bond of Rs 50,000 with two local sureties.
However, the court also laid eight conditions to be followed by the accused such as not leaving the residence without the permission of the trial court, to appear before the trial court once a week, surrendering of his passport (if acquired), not allowing to visit, contact or threaten any prosecution witnesses among others.
Meanwhile, the high court also directed the additional sessions judge of FTC (crime against women), Manipur, to expedite the trial and disposal of the murder case as early as possible, preferably within three months' time.
The JAC against the murder had taken up a series of agitations in 2017 and 2018, demanding justice for the dead mother and the pregnant daughter.
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