Not satisfied with the CBI’s version that charge sheets had been filed only against five police personnel in connection with the police lathi charge on advocates in the Madras High Court premises on February 19, 2009, the Madras High Court on Monday asked the investigating agency as to whether the constables alone were responsible for the incident.

When a petition seeking the appointment of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the incident came up before a Division Bench, Mr. Justice Dhanapalan orally observed that the counter only reflected the stand of the State police.

Stating that the charge sheet had pinpointed only five constables and not any officer, Mr. Justice Dhanapalan, who headed the Bench which also included Justice C.T. Selvam, asked the CBI counsel whether the constables alone were responsible.

He observed that the entire country expected the CBI to be independent. This was the time for the agency to show its power of independence.

The agency was a solemn authority with sanctity, he said. The petitioner, K. Muthuramalingam, an advocate of Chennai, said no justice had been done to the advocates and the general public after the incident.

The CBI had filed a “vexatious final report” against advocates. The CBI was nothing but an organisation of policemen picked from various States.

The agency’s personnel also being policemen were attempting to save the higher officers of the Tamil Nadu Police with regard to the incident.

The court should appoint a Special Investigation Team to go into the incident, he said.

In the counter filed through the Special Public Prosecutor, N. Chandrasekharan, the CBI submitted that the charge sheets were filed against five police personnel based on oral, documentary and material evidence. Investigation regarding the role, conduct and culpability of then Chennai Commissioner K. Radhakrishnan, Additional Commissioner of Police, Law and Order, A.K. Viswanathan, Joint Commissioner Ramasubramani and Deputy Commissioner Premanand Sinha, was continuing. A report would be filed in due course.

The agency submitted that after the case diaries and connected documents were deposited with the High Court Registry, the CBI had not conducted any investigation.

In its order, the Bench said that the matter had already been decided by a Full Bench (which had ordered a CBI probe into the incident).

It directed the Registry to place the petition before the Acting Chief Justice for appropriate orders.

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