Arguments will begin afresh on June 4 in a high-profile criminal case relating to V.N. Sudhakaran after a month of uncertainty over the pronouncement of the final verdict.
Mr. Sudhakaran, once a foster son of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, is facing a charge of illegal possession of heroin in his house in 2001. The city police alleged that he was in the habit of using the prohibited substance and used to get it from friends as and when needed. Along with Mr. Sudhakaran, his accomplices Baskaran, K. Salahuddin, Moinudeen were cited as accused in the case and charged with the offence under the provisions of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS). In 13 years, the case took several twists and turns as the accused filed one after another miscellaneous petitions before the High Court seeking to grant several reliefs.
V.Ramamurthy, then Principal Judge of Special Court for NDPS cases, reserved orders on April 15 and the court was about to pronounce the verdict on April 19. Mr. Ramamurthy deferred the judgement following a telegram casting some aspersions on him. Again, awaiting a direction from the High Court, the matter was adjourned to another day. On April 30, Mr. Ramamurthy was transferred and in his place, C.Chinnappan, a Principal District Judge, was posted.
As per the orders of the Madras High Court, the case was transferred two weeks ago to the First Additional Special Court under the NDPS Act, where the presiding officer’s post is still vacant. However, the case was again transferred to the court of Mr. Chinnappan. When the matter came up on Friday, Mr.Sudhakaran appeared and others were absent. The Principal Special Court judge Mr.Chinnappan adjourned the case to June 4 for arguments. Now the judge will hear the argument afresh on that day and later pronounce judgement.