Seeks list of cases booked under relevant Act

Taking a serious note of a writ petition by a woman senior citizen of Puducherry that she was being harassed by anti-social elements, the Madras High Court has directed the District Collector to furnish to the court the total number of cases booked so far under the Puducherry Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act. The district head should also state whether any detention order passed by him was rejected by the government; and if so, the number of such cases and reasons for rejection.

In the interim order, Justice K.K.Sasidharan observed, “The common man should feel a sense of security. It would be impossible for all the people to approach courts to redress their grievances. The State should come to the rescue of persons who are in need of help. The Union Territory of Puducherry attracts visitors across the country and abroad. In case this kind of lawlessness is continued, the same would affect the overall development of the Union Territory of Puducherry.”

The Judge prefaced his order thus: “This writ petition reveals the evolution of goonda culture in the otherwise peaceful territory of Puducherry.”

V.Calpanadevy of Muthialpet, a retired government school teacher, purchased the property where she was residing, with the money provided by her son, a ship engineer in South Korea, in August 2008. After the purchase, she demolished the superstructure and constructed a residential building using bank funds.

Meanwhile, the person who sold the property approached her and demanded market value for it. Otherwise, she should re-convey the property after receiving the sale consideration. But she did not agree.

In November 2011, a stranger approached her son and wanted her to talk to a person on the cellphone. It was found that the person at the other end was a notorious rowdy, now confined in Yanam Jail, who demanded Rs.three lakh to safeguard her property. Otherwise, action would be taken to re-convey the property. Her son gave Rs.1.25 lakh as part payment. Later, she and her son were threatened several times and he was made to part with a considerable sum to the henchmen of the gang leader. The petitioner’s son filed a complaint before the Muthialpet police station on November 29, 2012 and a case was registered.

The petitioner’s grievance was that the Inspector of Police, CB CID police station, Orleanpet, Thangamani, attempted to extract money from her and her son. He directed her to re-convey the property.

Counsel said the Union Territory recently witnessed several unlawful activities by anti-social elements. Traders were subjected to threats. The Lt.Governor, in an interview to a press reporter on September 4, admitted that “anti social elements are active, as usual as ever and there is a nexus between a section of police officials and criminals in Puducherry.”