Move on fresh affidavit causes surprise

New Delhi March 30. The indication that the Centre is likely to file a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court on the MDMK leader, Vaiko's petition challenging Sec. 21 of the POTA, has caused surprise in legal circles.

It was explained by senior lawyers that once an affidavit was filed and copies served to the parties concerned, it could not be withdrawn without the permission of the court.

Any new affidavit could be filed only after obtaining leave of the court after explaining the reasons for withdrawing the earlier one, they said.

In the affidavit filed earlier there was no error or mistake of facts, which could be rectified by a new affidavit.

After having justified the arrest of Mr. Vaiko and describing that his speech constituted an act of terrorism, how it could be rectified was not clear, they felt.

Legal experts also did not accept the contention that the affidavit was filed contrary to the instructions of the Union Government.

However, they felt that a supplementary affidavit could be filed explaining how Mr. Vaiko's arrest was unwarranted and it was a misuse of Sec. 21 of POTA. And that his speech would not come within the ambit of this provision as it was only a verbal support to a cause taken up by a banned organisation.

`Juniors responsible'

PTI reports:

The Attorney General, Soli Sorabjee, held his juniors responsible for the faux pas in the Government affidavit filed in the Supreme Court and said the mistake would be rectified tomorrow.

"The Government's view always has been and is that POTA is constitutional. That has been stated throughout in the affidavit. Some one or two sentences which have crept in are obviously due to misapprehensions at the junior level and that will be corrected immediately tomorrow," he said.

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