M A I N   N E W S

No to dropping of POTA cases against Vaiko
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, September 3
In a major blow to MDMK leader Vaiko, the POTA designated court here today refused permission to the Tamil Nadu Government to drop cases against him. The POTA designated court Judge, Mr L. Rajendran, disagreed with the Central POTA Review Committee’s observation that there was no evidence to proceed against Mr Vaiko and said the trial would continue.

He dismissed a petition filed by the state public prosecutor to withdraw the case against Mr Vaiko and eight MDMK workers as suggested by the review committee and ruled that it had “prematurely concluded the issue without having any opportunity to analyse the material relied upon by the prosecution which was available to the court”.

Mr Rajendran further noted that the reasons cited before the court by the state counsel to drop the case were merely based on the committee’s order and said the order did not have any evidence except the speech delivered by the MDMK leader at a public meeting on June 29, 2002.

The Supreme Court had earlier stayed trial proceedings against Mr Vaiko following a petition filed by him after the review committee, in its report on April 8, 2004, had held there was no material to proceed against him under Section 21 of POTA.

Mr Vaiko, who was today in Villipuram district, 160 km from here, during 15-day-long padyatra, said: “I knew right from the beginning that the designated court has taken a stand against me, which I have been experiencing for the past 19 months.” He said, “Still, I am confident that justice will
ultimately succeed.”

Addressing a packed courtroom Mr Rajendran said: “This being the plight, the conclusion arrived at by the review committee is untenable.”

He also said the reasons put forward before the court by the public prosecutor in the application filed under Section 321, CrPC were “totally unsustainable”.

The Judge said: “As repository of the legislative confidence in the administration of justice and while exercising the special duty under Section 321 of
the CrPC the court refuses to grant consent to withdraw the prosecution.”

Dismissing the petition Mr Rajendran observed that it was a well-settled proposition of law that proceedings be continued to their logical end and withdrawal of the cases was an exception which could be resorted to only sparingly.

After the judgment, MDMK lawyers said they were likely to challenge it in the Madras High Court.


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