The Madras High Court Bench here on Monday transferred a public interest litigation petition filed by a hotel owner here to detain S.P. Udayakumar, Convenor, People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), under the National Security Act, to the court's principal seat in Chennai.

A Division Bench, comprising Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice P. Devadass, ordered the transfer of the case after referring to an administrative order passed by the Chief Justice M. Yusuf Eqbal on January 10 stating that all cases related to Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) must be heard only in the principal seat.

The PIL petitioner R. Sivakumar had sought a direction to the Tirunelveli Collector and Superintendent of Police (SP) to detain Mr. Udayakumar under the NSA by alleging that his fiery public speeches directed against the State were aimed at inciting violence.

His counsel M. Patturajan claimed that the convenor of PMANE had “crossed all limits.”

The petitioner was of the view that such opposition to the nuclear power project was inappropriate when the State was reeling under severe power shortage. “Unless the High Court intervenes in this matter and directs the Collector and SP to take deterrent steps to put down the violent activities and apprehend him under the NSA, this agitation will not come to an end in the near future,” his affidavit read.