The Madras High Court Bench here has dismissed a writ petition filed by an individual to restrain the Thanjavur police from conducting ‘kattapanchayat' (kangaroo court) and forcing him to live with his estranged wife though a divorce petition filed by him was pending adjudication before a family court.

Justice K. Chandru rejected the plea of D. Karthikeyan after it was submitted that the police had summoned him for an inquiry pursuant to a police complaint lodged by his wife. She had accused the petitioner of refusing to part with her educational certificates which according to him were lost .

The judge pointed out that the petitioner had filed a petition for divorce before the Thanjavur Principal Subordinate Court in 2009. Subsequently, his wife had filed a counter statement resisting the claim for divorce on the ground that she did not leave her matrimonial house voluntarily.

Accusing the petitioner of not keeping up his promise of setting up a separate establishment for them and also avoiding her phone calls, she filed an application before the lower court seeking restitution of conjugal rights under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act.

Even as both the petitions were pending adjudication, the petitioner made a representation to the Thanjavur Superintendent of Police on December 18, 2010 to initiate action against the Thiruvidaimaruthur Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and Inspector of Thanjavur All Women Police Station.

Two weeks thereafter, the present writ petition was filed on January 4 this year seeking a direction to the SP to initiate action against the police officials as well as restraining them from conducting kattapanchayat and forcing him to live with his wife.

Filing separate counter affidavits in the case, the DSP and the Inspector stated that the petitioner was summoned only to inquire into the serious complaint of withholding the educational certificates.

Denying the charge of ‘kattapanchayat,' they said that the petitioner had filed the present petition to avoid the inquiry.

Keywords: kangaroo court

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