Raj Bha­van de­fends ac­tion against Nakkheeran

35 work­ers, in­clud­ing journos, who were named in FIR reg­is­tered by Zam Bazaar po­lice, moves HC seek­ing ad­vance bail, mat­ter ad­journed till Oct 25

The New Indian Express - - FRONT PAGE -

THE govern­ment ad­vo­cate has told the Madras High Court that po­lice will not ar­rest the em­ploy­ees of Nakkheeran mag­a­zine in con­nec­tion with a com­plaint from the Gover­nor’s of­fice re­gard­ing an ar­ti­cle.

Record­ing the sub­mis­sion, Jus­tice M Dhan­da­pani ad­journed the mat­ter till Oc­to­ber 25.

Thirty-five em­ploy­ees, in­clud­ing the mag­a­zine jour­nal­ists, whose names were found in the FIR reg­is­tered by Zam Bazaar po­lice, have moved the court seek­ing an­tic­i­pa­tory bail. Mag­a­zine ed­i­tor R R Gopal was ar­rested at the air­port on Oc­to­ber 9, based on a com­plaint from the Gover­nor’s of­fice.

The Tamil mag­a­zine had pub­lished in its April is­sue, an ar­ti­cle about the is­sue re­lat­ing to al­leged ‘lur­ing’ of girl stu­dents by Arup­pukot­tai col­lege sus­pended as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor Nir­mala Devi. She was ar­rested for al­legedly per­suad­ing four girl stu­dents to of­fer sex­ual favours to top of­fi­cials in Madu­rai Ka­ma­raj Univer­sity.

Gover­nor Ban­war­i­lal Puro­hit, who is also the Chan­cel­lor of the univer­sity, clar­i­fied that he had never met Nir­mala Devi.

Based on a com­plaint filed by Gover­nor’s sec­re­tary, Zam Bazaar po­lice reg­is­tered a case against Gopal. He was booked un­der Sec­tion 124 (As­sault­ing Pres­i­dent, Gover­nor) IPC.

How­ever, when po­lice pro­duced him be­fore a mag­is­trate for re­mand, the court re­fused to send him to ju­di­cial cus­tody un­der that pro­vi­sion.

As the names of 35 other em­ploy­ees of the mag­a­zine were found in the FIR, they pre­ferred the present ap­pli­ca­tion seek­ing ad­vance bail. THE Madras High Court has or­dered sta­tus quo on the DVAC probe into the al­leged ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the con­struc­tion of the new sec­re­tar­iat com­plex in the Oman­doorar Es­tate on Anna Salai by the then DMK govern­ment. A divi­sion bench granted the re­lief when an ap­peal from DMK pres­i­dent M K Stalin came up on Fri­day. In his ap­peal, Stalin sought to set aside an order of the sin­gle judge, who di­rected the Jus­tice R Reghu­pa­thy Com­mis­sion of In­quiry to hand over the records to the state govern­ment, which, in turn, was asked to scru­ti­nise the same and if prima fa­cie case was found, then only to in­sti­tute crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion.

Stalin’s se­nior coun­sel P Wil­son sub­mit­ted that the State had straight away handed over the doc­u­ments to the DVAC and the sin­gle judge had gone to the ex­tent of giv­ing di­rec­tions to the State govern­ment to order the probe, which were not even prayed for in the writ pe­ti­tion, he added.

Ad­vo­cate-Gen­eral Vi­jay Narayan sub­mit­ted that the Com­mis­sion was ap­pointed to probe the al­le­ga­tions in the con­struc­tion of the build­ings. How­ever, the pe­ti­tioner moved the High Court and ob­tained a stay in 2013. The panel came to a near stand­still. While so, when the case came up for hear­ing be­fore a sin­gle judge in Au­gust this year, the judge felt that the con­sti­tu­tion of Com­mis­sion of In­quiry was un­nec­es­sary and waste of pub­lic money.

Wil­son said reg­is­tra­tion of pre­lim­i­nary en­quiry it­self was the first stage of en­quiry. The im­pugned order had set the law in mo­tion. The ap­pel­lant ap­pre­hends any­thing may hap­pen in an­other 10 days, he added and prayed to the court to stay the sin­gle judge’s order.

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