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Court grants conditional bail to film actor Balakrishna

Saturday, June 26, 2004 • Telugu Comments

A local court Friday granted conditional bail to Telugu film actor N. Balakrishna, who has been charged with attempting to murder two film producers.

Metropolitan Sessions Judge Bhavani Prasad granted bail to Balakrishna, the son of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N.T. Rama Rao. The actor is undergoing treatment at Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) here.

Balakrishna had opened fire at film producer B. Suresh and his associate Satyanarayana Chowdary at his residence on the night of June 3, injuring both of them.

After hearing the arguments of the public prosecutor and the actor's lawyer on the bail petition moved by Balakrishna, the judge granted conditional bail to him.

The judge directed him not to go out of Hyderabad without the court's permission and to appear and sign at the Jubilee Hills police station every day after his discharge from hospital.

Balakrishna was also asked to surrender his passport to the court, pay Rs.100,000 as surety and not to interfere with the investigation of the case.

The actor's lawyer K. Ravindra Kumar assured the court that the actor will cooperate fully with police in the investigation. He pleaded for bail on the ground that the inquiry had already been completed.

The public prosecutor argued that the investigation could be affected if bail was granted.

Police now plan to approach the high court to challenge the lower court's order. Sources said the order could be challenged on the ground that Balakrishna was yet to be taken into police custody and interrogated.

Balakrishna had got himself admitted to a private hospital even before police could reach the scene after he fired at the film producers. Police arrested him from the hospital in the early hours of June 6 and produced him before a magistrate, who remanded him in judicial custody till June 7.

The next day, the court remanded him in judicial custody till June 21 but ordered that he should be shifted from the private hospital to government-run NIMS. On June 21, the court extended his remand till July 5.

Balakrishna is still under treatment at NIMS amid allegations by some lawyers that the institute's director, who was the late N.T. Rama Rao's personal physician, was showing undue favor by extending his stay in the hospital on one pretext or the other to save him from being shifted to a jail.

Mystery still shrouds the ailment the actor is suffering from.

The injured film producers have already been discharged from a private hospital. They, however, have retracted their first statement that the actor fired at them.

The producers later claimed they did not know who opened fire. This could save Balakrishna but the court has already made it clear that the case would be heard on the basis of their first statement.

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