HC imposes cost of ₹1 lakh on petitioner for misusing habeas corpus petition

Dismissing a habeas corpus petition, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court imposed a cost of ₹1 lakh on a petitioner and her husband after it was brought to light that the petition was filed to hide from a money dispute.

The court was hearing a petition filed in 2020 by J. Sowkiyadevi from Thoothukudi district. She said that her husband K. Jeyavelan, an advocate, had borrowed money from his friend Abdul Rahman and was regularly paying the interest.

Under these circumstances, she said that a group of police personnel had barged into their house and threatened them to return the money that was borrowed. They were told that the police were from Tenkasi district.

Later, the woman complained that her husband was threatened again and he did not return home. Therefore, she filed the habeas corpus petition. It was said that Abdul Rahman had lodged a complaint with the Tenkasi police as Jeyavelan was avoiding payment.

A Division Bench of Justices K. Kalyanasundaram and B. Pugalendhi had sought a status report in the case and the Superintendent of Police, Tenkasi submitted that a special team would be formed to trace the whereabouts of the detenu.

Later, video footage was recovered by the special team that found Jeyavelan purchasing some fruits from a fruit stall in Usilampatti. He was roaming freely and was not under any illegal detention.

The petitioner denied the same and later sought to withdraw the petition. The detenu was asked to file an affidavit. He alleged that he was kept under illegal detention. He had managed to escape and had remained underground, he said.

The court took cognisance of the materials submitted and said that the detenu hid himself. The detenu went underground to intimidate his friend. In the hide and seek game, the court and police were both made parties, the court said.

Considerable time and energy were spent to find the whereabouts of the detenu. The court directed the petitioner and her husband to pay a cost of ₹1 lakh to the Superintendent of Police, Tenkasi, who shall distribute the amount to the special team as honorarium.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 8:27:29 PM |

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