Madras High Court today ordered issuance of notice to authorities on a criminal revision petition by Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda to recall a non-bailable warrant issued by a lower court in a shootout case registered in 1986. When the matter came up before Justice T S Sivagnanam, the government advocate took notice and sought time to file the counter and the judge posted it to July 9. The petition, filed after 536 days of delay, challenged the order of a lower court refusing to recall the NBW and accept his appearance through videoconferencing in the case which relates to the murder of one Thirunavukkarasu in a shootout at Choolaimedu on November 1, 1986. The petition filed in 2012 stated that the trial court failed to consider various decisions of the High Court and the Supreme Court which had repeatedly held that the trial may go on without the presence of the accused if he was represented by his counsel. The petitioner contended that the case was pending for about three decades and without any fault on his part, the trial has not been concluded. In November 1986, Devananda, then a member of the Eelam People's Revolutionary Front in Lanka, and nine others were charged with opening fire with automatic weapons at locals in Choolaimedu in central Chennai, injuring five persons. One person later succumbed to his injuries.
Devananda and others were charged with murder, attempt to murder, rioting and unlawful assembly in the case.