The Madras High Court will pass orders on November 2 on a petition by a Sri Lankan Minister seeking to set aside a 1994 order declaring him as a ‘proclaimed offender' in a murder case in Chennai.
Justice G.M.Akbar Ali fixed the date for orders after hearing arguments by the Minister's counsel R.Rajan and the government side.
In his petition, Anandan alias Douglas Devananda said the offence took place on November 1, 1986 at Choolaimedu here. It was alleged that he and the other accused, who were also Sri Lankan Tamils, had a quarrel with the local people on Deepavali day. One person, Thirunavukkarasu, died when he was fired at.
Mr.Devananda said the trial court failed to see that there was an agreement between India and Sri Lanka in July 1987. After he was enlarged on bail, he was expatriated to Sri Lanka. Therefore, he believed that the case against him had been dropped. There was no place of residence in India for him after his expatriation. On the basis of the Aminjikarai police Inspector's report that he and other accused were absconding, no proclamation order could be passed. He was willing to appear before the trial court and face trial. He sought to set aside the proclamation order of June 30, 1994.
In his counter, the then Aminjikarai Police Inspector, S.Selvakumar, who is working in the Choolaimedu police station, said the case had been transferred to the Choolaimedu police station on the point of jurisdiction. A case at the Choolaimedu police station had been registered under sections 147, 148, 149, 307 and 302 IPC read with section 25 of the Arms Act on November 1, 1986 based on the complaint of Nagaraj against Selvanathan alias Ragavan and nine others, and conducted an investigation.
Based on the police Inspector's report, IV Additional Sessions Court declared the ten accused as ‘proclaimed offenders.' Based on the proclamation order, a news item was published in a Tamil daily and an English newspaper.
The counter said the accused were evading appearance before the trial court. Hence, the proclamation procedure was adopted against them as per law. The petition itself was not maintainable as the proclamation had to be agitated only before the trial court.