TAMIL NADU

Kiruttinan murder case trial stayed

MADURAI, DEC. 6. The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court today stayed all further proceedings with regard to the Kiruttinan murder case pending before the third Additional District Court in Madurai.

Passing interim orders on a direction petition filed by the younger brother of the deceased, Justice S.R. Singharavelu stayed the proceedings for a week and issued notice to all the accused in the case.

T. Kirutinnan, former Minister in the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Government, was murdered here, on May 20, 2003. A case was registered against 13 accused including M.K. Azhagiri, son of the former Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi, and the charge-sheet was laid down on August 18, 2003. The trial in the case was scheduled to begin tomorrow.

According to the petitioner, T. Ramiah, the Judge presiding over the trial court, Jafarullah Khan, enjoyed a close relationship with the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, S. Raghupathy, who is also a member of the DMK. Claiming that the Judge was biased towards the accused in the case, he alleged that the Minister influenced the entire proceedings. Hence, apprehending that there would not be a fair trial before the District Court, he pleaded to transfer the case to some other court of competent jurisdiction.

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