Multiple petitions filed by different accused in the US ship MV Seaman Guard Ohio case before the Madras High Court Bench here led to confusion over the judge before whom the cases should be posted for hearing.

Though Justice P.N. Prakash was already seized of a petition filed by an accused challenging a magistrate’s decision to take cognisance of the case, another petition filed by 35 other accused with a plea to quash the case came up before Justice G.M. Akbar Ali on Thursday.

After hearing preliminary arguments advanced by the petitioners’ counsel as well as the prosecution in the quash petition in the forenoon session, Mr. Justice Ali posted the case for further hearing to April 22. In the afternoon session, Mr. Justice Prakash heard the case pending before him.

When it was brought to the notice of the judge that a connected case came up for hearing before another judge in the morning, he agreed with the petitioners’ counsel that it would be better if both the cases were posted together in order to avoid conflicting judgements on the issue.

Later, he also adjourned the case before him till April 22 after recording the submissions of the petitioners’ counsel that they would represent the matter before Justice V. Ramasubramanian, the administrative judge of the High Court, and request him to take a call on posting the cases together.

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