Plea for CBI probe into 1997 sandal godown fire rejected
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.