New Delhi, Jan 28 (Agencies): Announcing that law cannot be applied differently for elected representatives, the Supreme Court has set aside the bail granted to BJP MLA Manoj Kumar Pradhan, sentenced to seven years RI for his role in communal riots in Orissa's Kandhamal district where members of the Christian community were targeted.

Setting aside the high court order, the apex court said "the impugned order does not record any reason whatsoever, except vague observation that nature of the allegations have been taken into consideration.

Meanwhile, the SC slammed the Orissa High Court for granting bail to Pradhan- a convict in the 2008 Kandhamal communal riots.

A bench of justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar said the Orissa High Court granted bail merely because the convict was a sitting MLA.

"The order clearly reflects that the High Court was mainly impressed by the fact that the respondent is a sitting MLA. In the circumstances, we find it difficult to sustain the order."

Upholding the appeal filed by the widow of a deceased in the riots, a bench of justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar asked the High Court to reconsider its decision for granting bail to the Udayagiri constituency MLA Manoj Kumar Pradhan.

"In our considered opinion, the High Court ought to have taken the serious nature of allegations, the findings recorded by the trial court and the alleged involvement of
the respondent in more than one case for deciding as to whether it is a fit case for suspending the sentence awarded by the trial court and his release on bail during the pendency of the appeal," the apex court said.
The trial court had earlier convicted and sentenced Pradhan to seven years RI for his alleged involvement in the riots.

Pradhan was granted bail by the Orissa High Court on July 7, 2010, on the very first day of the hearing, though two others in the case were denied the same.

Aggrieved by the relief given by the HC, Kanaka Rekha Naik, whose husband was one of the several persons killed in the 2008 communal riots filed an appeal in the apex court seeking cancellation of the bail.

The apex court said even though two other accused had also applied for bail, the high court chose to grant relief only to the legislator and not to others despite the fact that he was involved in various other cases.

Kandhamal had witnessed largescale communal riots against members of the Christian community following the killing of VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati.

However, the SC bench said the high court shall not be influenced by the observations made by it.