P. Sudhakar

TIRUNELVELI: When R. Mariadoss of Kuppaikurichi, under Seevalaperi police station limits, lit a beedi inside the district court complex on the Tirunelveli-Tuticorin highway, he would have never dreamt that he would have to pay a hefty price for the act. As he was caught with a `lit beedi,' he received a novel punishment at the hands of Judicial Magistrate III, Nagarajan. The sentence: Mariadoss should clean the dust in and around the JM-III court hall.

Mariadoss had come to the court on Monday after being nabbed by the police when he was reportedly gambling. As the court slapped a fine of Rs. 50 on him after it found him guilty, he paid the fine and left the court hall. Standing in front of the court of Judicial Magistrate III, he lit the beedi, only to be caught by the Judge Nagarajan.

Since the entire court premises had been declared as a `No Smoking Zone,' Judge Nagarajan ordered Mariadoss to clean the dust and cobwebs in and around his court hall.

Moreover, the Judge deputed a person from his court to supervise the `cleaning operation' and told Mariadoss that he could leave the court premises only after the exercise was over. And the 27-year old youth could be seen inside the court complex cleaning the dust even after 6 p.m.