NATIONAL

T.N. agrees to submit documents on Vaiko

New Delhi Dec. 4. The Tamil Nadu Government today agreed to submit to the Central POTA Review Committee headed by Justice A.B. Saharya documents pertaining to the detention of the MDMK leader, Vaiko, and eight others, and the Editor of Nakkheeran, R.R. Gopal.

Talking to reporters at the end of today's discussions with the committee, senior counsel for Tamil Nadu, C.S. Vaidyanathan, said that "in the case of Mr. Vaiko and eight others, we have agreed to submit the documents which were furnished to the accused. In the case of Mr. Gopal, we have told the panel that except certain privileged documents other materials like FIR will be submitted." On the nature of discussions, he said, "we raised the issue of preliminary objections and discussed the modalities that could be followed in deciding this issue."

Appearing for Mr. Gopal, senior advocate, R. Shanmugasundaram, said that "when the Tamil Nadu Government submitted that the committee could not have a parallel proceeding, I pointed out to the panel that the committee could exercise the executive powers and it could not be construed as interference with judicial proceedings."

He described as a "significant development", the State Government's willingness to submit the relevant documents as all along it had maintained that no such document would be furnished to the panel. He said he had told the panel that privileged documents such as case diaries, etc., could be perused by the committee without showing them to the parties.

Arguments on Dec. 8, 9

In its brief order, the Committee said that the preliminary objections raised by the State Government would be taken up for hearing on December 8 and 9 and that it had asked the parties to address, among other things, the following question: "Whether the exercise of administrative discretion by the State Government in proceeding against the accused under POTA, which is the subject matter of review before the committee, is also a subject matter of pending proceedings or orders made in any case by the court."

The committee said that liberty and a last opportunity was given to Tamil Nadu to produce all records mentioned in the showcause notice within one week, subject to the decision on the preliminary objections.

The committee also directed that a complete set of correspondence between the panel and the State Government and the preliminary objections be given to the complainants.

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