Tamil Nadu

OPS, son move HC to get FIRs quashed

Former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, now a Member of the Legislative Assembly representing Bodinayakkanur, and his son P. Ravindranath, a Member of Parliament representing Theni, have approached the Madras High Court to quash two First Information Reports (FIRs) registered against them for allegedly furnishing false information regarding their assets and income in the election affidavits filed in 2021 and 2019 respectively.

Justice M. Nirmal Kumar on Friday directed the Theni District Crime Branch and the complainant, P. Milany, to respond by Tuesday. In their identical quash petitions, the father-son duo, belonging to the AIADMK, stated that the complainant was a member of their rival party, the DMK.

However, he had suppressed the fact while lodging the complaint before a judicial magistrate designated as a special court for cases against legislators in Theni.

The Magistrate too, without ascertaining the veracity of the complaint, forwarded it to the DCB and the latter immediately registered the two FIRs for the offence under Section 125A of the Representation of the People Act of 1951, the petitioners said.

They argued that the complaint was not maintainable at all since the complainant had already filed election petitions against them before the High Court on same grounds.

Stating that even a member of an opponent political party was entitled to file election petitions challenging their victory and that they were already defending those petitions before the High Court, the duo said, the complainant would not be entitled to institute criminal proceedings too parallelly. They also contended that complaints regarding false affidavits could be lodged only with the Election Commission of India.

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Printable version | May 29, 2022 12:02:59 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/ops-son-move-hc-to-get-firs-quashed-chennai-madras-high-court/article38340562.ece