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Protect Chennai judge: Fernandes

By Our Special correspondent

NEW DELHI, JULY 7. The NDA convener, Mr. George Fernandes, and the DMK MP, Mr. C.P. Thirunavukarasu, have demanded additional security for the Chennai Principal Sessions Judge, Mr. Justice Ashok Kumar, who is dealing with the cases registered against the former Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, and others in ``flyover scam''.

In a statement this evening, Mr. Fernandes referred to reports of ``threatening phone calls'' being received by the judge and the incident in which the judge's car was hit by a van allegedly belonging to Jaya TV. He called for adequate protection to all those whose lives were threatened in Tamil Nadu.

The DMK MP, Mr. Thirunavukarasu, told newspersons that he had received a fax message from Mr. Justice Ashok Kumar's son Mr. Edwin Prabakar about the threats to his father's life . In his fax message, copies of which were made available to the press, Mr. Edwin referred to the fact that his father was ``receiving threatening phone calls, and was being followed by some mysterious persons''.

Mr. Thirunavukarasu said he was taking up the issue as a lawyer and had submitted a memorandum to the President as well as the Chief Justice of India. The DMK MP said that Mr. Murasoli Maran, Union Commerce Minister, would call on the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to inform them of the situation.

Judge's son writes to Governor

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, JULY 7. The son of the Principal Sessions Judge, Mr. S. Ashok Kumar, handling the `mini fly-over scam' cases, has written to the Tamil Nadu Governor seeking Central Government security for the family.

Mr. Edwin Prabakar, himself an advocate, said in his letter: ``We are receiving threatening phone calls and some mysterious persons are following my father. I am given to understand that a conspiracy has been hatched to eliminate my father. My father's safety is at peril. He is intimidated and obstructed from dispensing justice, which amount to contempt. I request that the Government of India may be pleased to provide Central Government security to my father and my family''.

He informed the Governor that his father had dealt with cases of notorious criminals and was recently dealing with ``sensitive cases involving VVIPs''.

Mr. Justice Ashok Kumar has been very critical of the State police and the authorities handling the ``flyover scam'' case for the manner and method in which the FIR was filed and the `incomplete investigation' before the arrest of the former Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, the Chennai Mayor, Mr. M.K. Stalin, and others. Earlier this week, his car was involved in an accident, when the van of a private television channel bumped into his vehicle from behind on Kamaraj Salai.

More security

The city police today said that additional security had been provided to Mr. Justice Ashok Kumar. Already, the judge had been provided with three police constables and a security officer. One more Sub-Inspector and two constables had been provided from 10.30 p.m. on Friday. When contacted, Mr. Justice Ashok Kumar said he had lodged an oral complaint with the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, Mr. Justice N.K. Jain, in this regard.

After asking him to give a written complaint, Mr. Justice Jain assured Mr. Justice Ashok Kumar that the High Court would protect him.

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