SC extends period of interim bail given to Veerapan’s associate Gnanaprakash on medical grounds

The Supreme Court on Monday extended the interim bail granted to Gnanaprakash, an associate of forest brigand Veerapan who was convicted under the stringent TADA for his involvement in the 1993 Palar blast in Karnataka, in which nearly two dozen policemen and foresters lost their lives.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Bela M Trivedi directed for the continuation of the interim order of relief given to Gnanaprakash till further orders.

Gnanaprakash (63), who has been in jail for 27 years, was granted interim bail on November 28, 2022 on health grounds on a petition filed by his wife, Selva Mary.

His counsel informed the bench that he has been suffering from a life-threatening disease.

The counsel appearing in the court on behalf of the Karnataka government said looking at his condition, the state has decided to release Gnanaprakash prematurely and for this, a letter has been sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs. He also said TADA convicts are not normally considered for remission of sentences.

The bench asked Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, appearing in the court on behalf of the Centre, to take instructions in this regard.

Gnanprakash hails from Martalli village in Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar district and was booked along with Veerapan and others for the blast under various provisions of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act.

He was sentenced to death by the trial court in 2001, but the sentence was commuted to life term by the top court in 2014.

Veerapan was killed in October, 2004.

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