Sri Lankan minister Douglas Devananda (56) has moved the IVth Additional Sessions Court Chennai to recall the non-bailable warrant issued against him in 1990 in connection with a criminal case.
In his criminal miscellaneous petition, Douglas submitted that a case had been registered against him and five others under sections 147, 148 and 506(ii) of the IPC by the Kodambakkam police. He was released on bail and had been appearing before the court till June 18, 1990.
Soon after the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement in 1987, he left India and settled down in Lanka. He was under the bonafide belief that in view of the said Agreement, the case registered against him was closed. In this background, Douglas did not appear before the court in Chennai.
When he came to India recently, a writ petition was filed seeking to arrest and prosecute him in connection with the pending criminal case.The Sri Lankan minister then approached the High Court, which directed him to file a petition to recall the NBW.
He submitted that he had escaped from the attack of the LTTE for more than 13 times and his life was still in danger from the sleeper cells of the LTTE both in Sri Lanka and outside. Whenever he visited Tamil Nadu, the pro-LTTE organisations created a law and order problem and also caused threat to his life. Hence, he could not come to Tamil Nadu and file a petition to recall the warrant as directed by the High Court.
Since his life was under theat and also because of his holding a constitutional post in Lanka, he was not able to appear before thecourt in person on every hearing. Hence, he might be permitted to appear before the High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka and undertook to participate in the proceedings through video conferencing. Douglas prayed that his personal appearance before the court in Chennai might be dispensed with. (Express News Service)