Tamil Nadu

High Court refuses to quash 35-year-old case

The Madras High Court has paved the way for the commencement of trial in a 35-year-old case, booked for an alleged attempt to murder Anton Balasingam, a close confidante of LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, at his residence in Besant Nagar, Chennai, in 1985.

Justice P.N. Prakash refused to quash the case just because Balasingham was no more, just one accused was available for trial and most records were not available with the court due to the passage of time and the transfer of the case from one court to another.

The judge agreed with Government Advocate (criminal side) P. Kritika Kamal that though Balasingham was no more, other witnesses were available to testify. Further, case records had been reconstructed and trial could proceed, he said.

Though some accused were absconding and one person had died, the judge ordered that the trial could commence against the available accused, Veerasangili Kanniah Thanabalan alias V.K.T. Balan, who had moved the High Court to quash the case on the ground of long delay.

Relying on a couple of Supreme Court verdicts, wherein it had been held that delay could not be a sole ground to quash a case, the judge said in the present case, the allegations against the accused were indeed very serious as a bomb had exploded in Balasingham's residence but luckily, no one was injured.

Further, the accused had also been charged with passing on official secrets regarding the country. Therefore, a delay or loss of records could not be cited as reasons for quashing the case, the judge said.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 9:35:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/high-court-refuses-to-quash-35-year-old-case/article32933712.ece

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