Vinod Kumar and Manikantan were given bail by the Supreme Court after being sentenced in the Kalluvathukkal Hooch Tragedy case, which killed over 30 persons in 2000. The appeals filed by the prisoners in this case were dismissed by the Court in 2011. Their wives petitioned the Apex Court two months ago for their early release in July of this year. On July 9th, the court served notice on the state. Later, the State informed the court that a State Advisory Committee had been formed and that it had recommended their early release.
On September 6th, the court ordered the government to make a decision in the matter as soon as possible.
When the subject was brought up today, the state requested more time. The court noted that no sufficient explanation was provided as to why the State Government was unable to make a final decision on the request within two weeks of its submission on September 6, 2021.
As a result, we have no choice but to have the petitioners’ husbands [Vinod Kumar (Prisoner No. C 2509) and Manikantan (Prisoner No. C 703)] out on bail while the writ petition is pending. They should be released on bond as soon as possible, subject to any terms imposed by the Trial Court, and no later than 48 hours.
They should be freed on bail immediately, subject to any terms imposed by the Trial Court, and no later than 48 hours from the date of this judgement,” a bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari, and CT Ravikumar ordered after six weeks of hearing the plea.
The accused were charged with mixing methyl alcohol, a deadly chemical, with ethyl alcohol and then with toddy and other essences to create a cocktail called Kalapani. This was marketed through their outlets, and as a result, individuals died as a result of the use of bogus liquor.