|Judge tells Additional Advocate-General to file reply or go to Supreme Court|
MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered notice of motion (a notice issued before admitting a petition) to the State Government in a public interest litigation petition against M.K. Azhagiri, son of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, for allegedly operating as an "extra constitutional authority."
A Division Bench comprising Justices Prafulla Kumar Misra and K. Veeraraghavan adjourned the hearing on the petition, filed by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), to June 6 to enable the State to file its reply. It refused to order notice to Mr. Azhagiri.
Earlier, the court witnessed heated arguments between AIADMK counsel N. Jothi and Additional Advocates-General P.S. Raman and S. Ramaswamy. Even as petitioner's counsel was putting forth the gist of the case, including the attack on the Sun TV network office here in which three people were killed on May 9, Mr. Raman intervened to state that the case had been filed with a mala fide intention.
Wondering how the petition was placed before a vacation court as there was no urgency in the matter, he said: "I had to learn about the case from The Hindu newspaper." (The court is in recess till June 3). He also took strong exception to paragraph 11 of the affidavit, filed by AIADMK treasurer D. Jayakumar, wherein the latter had said that the Chief Minister was unable to control the emergence of many "dubious power centres" owing to his old age.
"Is this how a political party files an affidavit? Does a representative of a political party, who is also an MLA, make this kind of allegation," Mr. Raman asked and refused to read out the paragraph in the open court hall.
Referring to the prayer in the PIL seeking constitution of a body of highly reputable persons to monitor law and order situation in southern districts, he said it was tantamount to asking the court to establish an extra constitutional authority. The case has been filed as a result of the incidents that took place on May 9 and there was nothing in the affidavit to show that Mr. Azhagiri was operating as a power centre.
To this, Mr. Justice Misra pointed out some paragraphs in which the police officers and other Government officials were accused of taking orders from the Chief Minister's son.
Arguing further, Mr. Raman said the PIL petition could not be entertained because the petitioner had nothing to do with the May 9 attack. Mr. Justice Misra replied: "This is not a private grievance. Supposing somebody is killed in a road accident and if I happen to see it. Is it not my duty to report to the police? There is no question of a person aggrieved for setting the law in motion."
On the contention that the police did not register a case based on a complaint lodged by an employee of the network because it had already registered a case on a complaint given by a sub-inspector of police, the Judge asked: "Are you suggesting that if somebody comes with another complaint on the same issue, it cannot be registered?"
When the AAG continued to vehemently argue the case, Mr. Justice Misra said: "We will simply say that you will file your reply. If you are still aggrieved, go to the Supreme Court."
© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu
HC Bench Orders issue of Notice to Chief Secy, DGP
Thursday May 17 2007 10:16 IST
MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered issue of notices to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police on a public interest litigation petition filed by the AIADMK seeking appointment of a suitable authority to monitor the law and order situation in southern districts, with reference to the attack on Dinakaran office allegedly by supporters of MK Azhagiri on May 9.
When the PIL filed by AIADMK MLA D Jayakumar came up for hearing before the Vacation Bench comprising Justice PK Misra and Justice K Veeraraghavan, the judges ordered issue of notice to the other respondents - the Deputy Inspector Generals of Police, Madurai and Tirunelveli, the Madurai Police Commissioner and the Madurai District Superintendent of Police and posted the matter for further hearing to June 6. However, the Bench did not order issue of notice to the Union Home Secretary, the first respondent, and Azhagiri, the eighth respondent.
The Bench said that the decision on admitting the PIL would be taken after the counter was filed by the State Government.
Counsel for the AIADMK N Jothi alleged that Azhagiri was functioning as an extra-constitutional authority ever since the DMK came to power last year and that was the main reason for the deterioration of law and order in the southern districts.
Referring to various incidents, including the attack on Dinakaran office in which three of its employees were killed, he said that Azhagiri had been controlling the entire administration in the southern districts.
Appearing for the State, Additional Advocate General (AAG) S Ramaswamy argued that there was no urgency to take up the PIL during the vacation.
In his argument, AAG PS Raman contended that the police had already taken action and arrested the culprits involved in the attack on the office of Dinakaran. The police had been impartial, he added.
The petitioner was in no way connected to Dinakaran, but trying to take advantage of the situation after the attack, the AAG argued. When Justice Misra asked how many complaints had been lodged with regard to the Dinakaran attack, the AAG replied that three cases had been registered by the police.
The AAG said that complaints were received from the local editor of the daily, but it was about the same incident and of the same nature as the one filed by the subinspector of the Othakadai police station.
The New Indian Express
HC notice on Madurai Violence
By Our Correspondent
Madurai, May 16: The Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Wednesday issued notices to the chief secretary, the director general of police of Tamil Nadu and DIGs of Madurai and Tirunelveli on a PIL filed by AIADMK, seeking the constitution of a high-powered team to probe the law and order situation in the southern districts of the state. Justices Mr P. K. Mishra and K. Veeraraghavan, who heard the case, refused to issue notice to the Union home secretary, who is the first respondent, and Mr M. K. Azhagiri, the eighth respondent.
The PIL was filed on Monday on behalf of former AIADMK minister Mr Jeyakumar, stating that cases had been filed on the basis of complaints given by the police personnel who remained mute spectators when the Dinakaran office was attacked on May 9. The police had refused to register the complaint given by the newspaper, the petition said.
The petition said that during the past one year, the police was turning a blind eye to the antisocial activities in the southern districts. The law and order situation had deteriorated much to the apprehension of the public. The petitioner had prayed to the bench to direct the appointment of a high-powered committee to monitor the law and order situation and submit reports once in a month to the government.
When the petition came up for hearing, additional advocate general Mr S. Ramasamy and Mr P. S. Raman appeared on behalf of the government. They said that the government had already ordered a CBI inquiry into the May 9 violence and there was no need to probe the matter further. They also submitted that the AIADMK had no locus standi to file a case in this regard.
Advocate M. Jothi, counsel for petitioner, said the violence that rocked Madurai on May 9 should be considered as a serious one. Three people were killed in the violence.
When the judges asked who submitted the complaint on behalf of Dinakaran, additional advocate general said that three cases had been registered on the basis of complaints filed by the police. However the judges wanted to know why the complaint by Dinakaran was not recorded. Mr Ramasamy said that the complaint by Dinakaran was similar to the complaints filed by the police and that’s why it was not recorded. He pleaded before the court to dismiss the PIL with immediate effect. However, the judges refused to dismiss it and posted the matter for June 6.