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Kodanadu case: Madras HC quashes detention order against key accused

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

The Madras High Court on Wednesday quashed a preventive detention order against one of the key accused in the 2017 Kodanadu heist-and-murder case, holding the detention order was 'illegible' and suffered from various other lacunae.

Allowing a petition by detenue K V Sayan, a division bench of Justices MM Sundresh and RMT Teekaa Raman quashed the Nilgiris District Collector's order passed under the Goondas Act in March this year.

It held that several pages in the documents furnished to the petitioner were 'illegible' and the detention order suffered from non-application of mind and had other gaps.

"When they (documents) were furnished to the petitioner, they should be legible enough to read. That is the very object of furnishing copies of the documents relied upon... Therefore, on these grounds, the impugned detention order is liable to be set aside.," it said.

The bench also refuted the prosecution submissions that the detention order was not passed against the accused for giving media interview against Chief Minister k Palaniswami.

"...It is important to note that the detention order was passed after the remarks were made by the petitioner against the Honourable Chief Minister," it said.

Sayan and nine others have been arrested on the charges of killing Om Bahadur, a security guard at the bungalow in Kodanadu owned by late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, in 2017.

He was granted bail by a court in Udhagamandalam, but it cancelled the relief in February this year for violation of the bail condition.

The Tamil Nadu government had moved the court seeking cancellation of the bail after former Tehelka editor Mathew Samuel released a video in Delhi on January 11 in which Sayan and a co-accused linked Palaniswami's name to the case, a charge denied by the chief minister.

Sayan and the co-accused were arrested on January 14 in connection with the video but were released on bail by a Chennai court.

The Madras High Court had later stayed the FIR against them and four others, including Samuel in connection with the charges levelled in the 16-minute video clip.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, November 06 2019. 18:30 IST