Staff Reporter

Allegedly made by him in a culpable homicide case

MADURAI: The Tirupparankundram circle police on Monday refused to furnish a copy of the confession statement allegedly made by the Madurai Mayor, C. Ramachandran, in a culpable homicide case to the defence counsel.

The State Public Prosecutor made the submission before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court while opposing a petition, which sought a direction to provide the confession statement. He contended that supplying the materials collected during investigation would hamper the probe.

Arguing for the Mayor, senior counsel, S. Shanmugasundaram, said the confession statement was imperative for his client to effectively defend an application moved by the prosecution to cancel the bail granted to him by the VI Judicial Magistrate here on October 31.

He recalled that a woman councillor, R. Pandeeswari alias Pandiselvi, died in a car accident near Tirupparankundram on October 25 last. Based on a complaint preferred by the driver of a State Transport Corporation bus, the police registered a case under Section 304 A (causing death by negligence) of Indian Penal Code.

Subsequent investigation revealed that the car belonged to the Mayor. He was arrested on October 30 and the charges were altered to Section 304 part I (culpable homicide). When Mr. Ramachandran was produced before the Magistrate for remand, the judicial officer came to the conclusion that there was not enough material to prove the applicability of Section 304 part I and hence, granted bail.

Thereafter, the police moved a petition before the Bench to cancel the bail and the Mayor was yet to file his counter affidavit against the move.

Since the prosecution sought to cancel the bail on the ground that the accused had given a confession statement, a copy should also be provided to the defence side to uphold the principles of natural justice, the senior counsel added. He said they were provided only with the first information report, which had no relevance as on date because the charges were altered subsequently.