‘HC was not consulted before appointment was made’

A week after former Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam minister K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran challenged the appointment of a Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) in a disproportionate assets case involving him in the Madras High Court bench here, yet another ex-DMK minister, T. Thangam Thennarasu, has moved the High Court bench with a similar plea

In his petition, Mr. Thennarasu claimed that the principal secretary of the public department issued an order on July 11, 2013 appointing the SPP invoking Section 24 (8) of the Cr.P.C to appear in a case registered against him by the deputy superintendent of Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption in Virudhunagar. The anti-corruption sleuths have submitted the charge-sheet in the case before a special court for vigilance and anti-corruption cases in Madurai. The framing of charges is set to commence on October 31, 2013, he submitted.

According to the petitioner, the State government has so far appointed 15 special public prosecutors to appear in cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act involving 15 former ministers belonging to the DMK.

The petitioner contended that the principal secretary neither consulted the High Court nor the sessions court before making the appointment as mandated under Section 24 (1) of the Cr.P.C. The State had failed to justify the reasons for appointing SPPs in cases involving former DMK ministers alone, he claimed. Therefore, he prayed that the appointment of the SPP be quashed to ensure a fair trial. Justice T. Raja on Monday adjourned the case to November 5.