'Govt. must have ensured speedy trial of detenus'

MYSORE, SEPT. 1. Commenting on the Supreme Court order staying the release of TADA detenus from the Mysore jail, Mr. Venugopal, counsel for the detenus, has criticised the State Government for failing to ensure a speedy trial of the accused.

The court issued the order on Friday on a Special Leave Petition filed by Mr. Abdul Kareem, father of Shakeel Ahmed, a police officer who was killed by Veerappan in 1992.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Venugopal said that it was because the Government failed to ensure a speedy trial that the judiciary had taken over the matter from the executive.

He pointed out that by the time the trial with regard to three cases under TADA began, the accused had spent five years in jail. Another TADA case relating to the Palar blast was yet to be taken up for trial. Such lapses on the part of the Government had complicated the matter and forced the judiciary to step in, he added.

He said that the Supreme Court had questioned the State Government's efforts to nab the brigand in the last seven years. If the Government did not convince the court, it would not be possible to secure the release of the accused on bail, he said.

Mr. Venugopal pointed out that two petitions, one filed by a Delhi-based lawyer, against the decision of the State Government to concede the demands of Veerappan, had been admitted by the Supreme Court, and they would complicate the matter. The court had also ordered issue of notices to the State Government and the accused under TADA provisions, he said.

It has been pointed out that until such time the SLP filed by Mr. Kareem is disposed of, no trial of the detenus can be conducted in the Mysore court.

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