Actor M. Ilavarasu tenders unconditional apology before Madras High Court for false accusation against Chennai police

Justice A.D. Jagadish Chandira accepted his apology and summoned five Inspectors of Police to explain the delayed and shabby investigation conducted into Mr. Ilavarasu’s complaint

January 30, 2024 02:58 pm | Updated 07:22 pm IST - CHENNAI

Actor Ilavarasu

Actor Ilavarasu | Photo Credit: R. Ashok

Cinematographer-turned-actor M. Ilavarasu on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, tendered an unconditional apology before the Madras High Court for having falsely accused the Greater Chennai Police of submitting fabricated closed circuit television (CCTV) camera footage in court, to prove his presence at a police station on a particular day.

Justice A.D. Jagadish Chandira accepted the apology and said the false accusation had sidetracked a genuine issue raised by the actor of the police not having conducted a proper investigation into a 2016 complaint regarding the misappropriation of ₹40 lakh from the Southern India Cinematographers Association funds.

Passing interim orders on a contempt of court petition filed by the actor, the judge summoned five Inspectors of Police -- Shivakumar, Ramamoorthy, Selvarani, Kannan and A.V. Srinivasan -- who had served at Soundarapandiyanar Angadi Police Station in T. Nagar in Chennai since March 3, 2022. All five Inspectors were directed to be present in the court on February 5 to explain the inordinate delay in investigating the complaint lodged against the previous office-bearers of the association.

The judge also expressed his displeasure over the police conducting a shabby investigation in most of such criminal cases. “This is just an example of how many complainants are forced to approach this court and seek a direction even to get a First Information Report registered. Thereafter, they have to file a petition to expedite the investigation and once again to file a final report. Nothing moves until contempt petitions are filed,” he lamented.

In the present case, Mr. Ilavarasu had pointed out that the misappropriation complaint was lodged with the Greater Chennai Commissioner of Police on November 22, 2016. Thereafter, a petition was filed in court seeking a direction to the police to register a FIR on the basis of the complaint.

On October 9, 2017, Justice M.S. Ramesh directed the Central Crime Branch to conduct a preliminary inquiry within 15 days and register a FIR, if a cognisable was made out. Thereafter, the CCB registered a FIR on February 13, 2018 and transferred it to the local police since the misappropriated amount was less than ₹50 lakh.

Since there was no progress thereafter, the actor moved the High Court once again in 2022 seeking a direction to the police to expedite the probe. Justice Chandira disposed of the direction petition on March 3, 2022 after ordering the Inspector of Police concerned to file a final report within four months.

Thereafter, the complaint was re-registered at the Soundarapandiyanar Angadi police station but again there was no progress forcing the actor file the present contempt of court petition last year. After the filing of the contempt plea, the police filed a final report on December 13, 2023 recommending closure of the complaint.

They also told the court that the final report was filed after inquiring with the complainant on December 12, 2023. Initially, the actor denied having visited the police station on that day but later apologies for his false statement after the police produced CCTV footage as well as his mobile phone tower location details.

After accepting his apology, the judge wondered how the police could have kept the funds misappropriation complaint pending for seven long years but could then file a negative final report within a day after inquiring with the complainant. He summoned the Inspectors concerned to explain the shabby investigation.

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