No bail for cadets who killed ship Captain: Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court has denied bail to two men convicted of murdering the captain of their Merchant Navy ship and throwing his body into the Atlantic Ocean in April 2004.

The duo, who had been cadets in training on the ship, had been arrested when the ship reached Spain. Vivek Madhok and Shankar Bhatia were convicted in September by a sessions court on the basis of the evidence collected by Spanish authorities, including blood samples and other forensic evidence.

According to the prosecution, Captain Rajan had reprimanded two trainee cadets Madhok and Bhatia for neglecting their duties on the ship. He also took them to task for not completing their homework. Enraged, the duo attacked him, first with a whiskey bottle, then with a metal detector, and again with a stool.

As the Captain lay bleeding, he was wrapped in a bedsheet, dragged to the deck and then thrown overboard. The prosecution had also claimed he was strangled, but this was never proved as the body could not be found.

The two have filed appeals against the conviction and for bail and suspension of their sentence during the appeal proceedings, claiming that they had been falsely accused on the basis of circumstantial evidence, and that the prosecution had not been able to prove that they had any motive to commit murder.

They had also claimed that as they had remained on bail all through the trial, they should be granted bail during the appeal hearing.

The court of Justice Kailash Gambhir and Justice Indermeet Kaur, however, did not accept the convicts' argument.

It said, "The effect of bail granted during the trial loses significance once the accused persons have been found guilty."

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