Chennai

HC issues statutory notice to magistrate

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Lets jail superintendent off the hook

Wondering who would obey High Court orders if even a judicial magistrate did not adhere to them, the Madras High Court on Friday issued statutory notice to a metropolitan magistrate in the city on a contempt of court petition filed against him.

Justices S. Vaidyanathan and P.T. Asha directed the Magistrate, S. Gopinathan, to file an affidavit explaining the reasons for having let out two accused in a road accident case without waiting for a High Court order staying the bail granted by a district court.

The judges ordered statutory notice after hearing the magistrate in person and being prima facie satisfied that a case of contempt had been made out against him. He was accused of issuing a warrant of release despite being informed of the stay order.

They, however, decided not to issue statutory notice to Saidapet jail superintendent Ramadas, since Additional Public Prosecutor M. Mohamed Riyaz informed the court that the officer had no choice but to obey the warrant of release.

Affidavits asked

A direction was issued to two juniors of advocate S. Haja Mohideen Gisthi to file individual affidavits, within four weeks, penning their oral submission that the Magistrate chose not to wait for the High Court’s stay order despite being informed of it.

The issue pertains to the grant of bail by the Principal District and Sessions Court to two private law college students, accused of culpable homicide not amounting to murder of woman advocate Sunanda Suren in a road accident case, on December 21.

However, the High Court held a special sitting on Monday — a Christmas vacation day — and stayed the bail order. Despite being informed of the stay, the magistrate reportedly accepted bail bonds and issued the warrant of release the same day without waiting for the production of the High Court order.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 10:48:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/hc-issues-statutory-notice-to-magistrate-lets-jail-superintendent-off-the-hook/article25854900.ece

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