Plea for CBI probe into 1997 san­dal godown fire re­jected

The New Indian Express - - FRONT PAGE -

Chennai: The first bench of the HC has re­jected a plea for a di­rec­tive to the gov­ern­ment to trans­fer probe into the fire ac­ci­dent at the ad­di­tional san­dal­wood de­pot at Tiru­pat­tur, in which wood worth about `122 crore was burnt on March 16, 1997, to CBI. A bench of Chief Jus­tice Indira Banerjee and Jus­tice M Sun­dar re­jected the PIL plea from one P Kr­ish­nan on Mon­day. The in­ci­dent oc­curred over 20 years ago. An en­quiry was held by a Com­mis­sion headed by Jus­tice A Ra­man, a re­tired judge of the High Court. He submitted his re­port on Novem­ber 2, 1999, and the same was ac­cepted by the gov­ern­ment on Novem­ber 18 same year, the bench pointed out. Pass­ing or­ders on an­other PIL, the then Chief Jus­tice on July 25, 2016 had re­jected a plea to order re-in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the case. The bench then had held that the rec­om­men­da­tions of the com­mis­sion had duly been im­ple­mented and that the CB CID in­ves­ti­gated the case and chargesheet had been filed against seven of­fi­cials but the Fast Track Court at Tiru­pat­tur on Au­gust 11, 2006, had or­dered their ac­quit­tal, giv­ing them the ben­e­fit of doubt. The gov­ern­ment had also de­cided to leave the mat­ter at that, the present bench pointed out. The present PIL does not dis­close any co­gent rea­son as to why a probe should be re-opened at this stage by CBI. Hence, the same is dis­missed, the bench said.

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