A city advocate has filed a petition in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the State Home Secretary and the Director-General of Police to take steps leading to the issue of a Red Corner Notice by the Interpol against Douglas Devananda, Sri Lankan Minister for Traditional Industries and Small Enterprises Development.
A Division Bench of Justices K. Mohan Ram and G.M. Akbar Ali on Wednesday adjourned the petition by two weeks.
P. Pugalenthi had already filed a writ petition seeking a direction to the Central and State authorities to take immediate steps for arresting the Minister and prosecuting him in accordance with law in connection with a murder case in city. The petitioner stated that the Minister remained an absconding accused for nearly 17 years.
The Ministry of External Affairs had filed a counter affidavit stating that Mr. Devananda could not be arrested during his visit to India since he enjoyed diplomatic immunity against an arrest referral request. The Ministry's Legal and Treaties Division had stated in its opinion that if Mr. Devananda was on an official visit, representing the country he may be granted immunity from arrest/prosecution.
In the present petition, the petitioner stated that if a person, whether Indian or a foreigner, had committed an offence in India and was subsequently believed to have absconded to a foreign country, a request could be made by the police authorities to the Interpol for publication of a Red Corner notice against that person.
Mr. Devananda remained an absconding accused. He was an accused of an extraditable offence and was now in Sri Lanka.
In the circumstances, it was the duty of the authorities to make a request to the Interpol for publication of the notice against Mr. Devananda. The notice is issued seeking the arrest or provisional arrest of wanted persons with a view to extraditing them.