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SC accepts Karnataka’s Rs 1.18 lakh bill to escort Maudany

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The Karnataka government today told the Supreme Court that it will cost Rs 1.18 lakh to escort PDP leader Abdul Nazir Maudany, an accused in the 2008 Bengaluru serial blasts case, when he visit his home state Kerala to attend his son’s wedding.

The apex court had yesterday slammed the Karnataka government for demanding Rs 14.8 lakh as security expenses from Maudany for his visit to Kerala following which the state government had agreed to present the revised bill.

The apex court also modified its earlier order by which it had allowed Maundany to visit his son’s wedding from August 7 to August 14 and said that now People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader would visit from August 6 to August 19.

“We accordingly direct that the petitioner shall be allowed to visit Kerala from August 6, 2017 to August 19, 2017 for the purposes already indicated in our earlier order dated July 31,2017,” a bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and L N Rao said today.

During the hearing, advocate Joseph Aristotle appearing for Karnataka placed before the bench a letter issued by the Police Commissioner of Bengaluru City which said that Rs 1.18 lakh expense would be incurred in escorting Maudany during his visit.

The amount was accepted by advocate Prashant Bhushan appearing for Maudany but he said that during his earlier visit to the state for his daughter’s wedding the cost was Rs 18,000 only.

“At that time they have provided only four police officials to escort and this time they have provided 19 policemen to escort him,” he said.

To this, the bench said that this means that the accused would be virtually in police custody. It said that during his visit, he will attend his son’s wedding and would also see his ailing mother.

On July 31, the top court had allowed him to visit his home state Kerala. Maudany (51) has challenged the trial court’s order of July 24 declining him permission to attend his son’s wedding functions between August 8 and August 20.

The trial court had allowed him to visit his ailing mother from August 1 to August 7, but had declined him the permission to attend his son’s wedding on August 9. In his plea, Maudany said he was granted bail in July 2014 on a condition that he would not leave Bengaluru without permission.