TAMIL NADU

`Power to transfer case should be exercised judiciously'

CHENNAI, FEB. 26. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president, M. Karunanidhi, today said that when the government employees who were charged with striking work were taken back there could be no charge against him that he instigated them to go on strike.

Mr. Karunanidhi submitted this in a counter to the petition filed by the City Central Crime Branch before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM), Egmore, seeking to transfer the case from the court of the Additional CMM.

It is basic law that when the main offender is exonerated, the charge of instigation cannot be established. The police want to keep the case alive by filing one petition or the other, he said.

In their application, the police said on the day the DMK leader came to the Additional CMM court located on the first floor to receive the charge sheet copy, the court could not accommodate a huge crowd. Hence the case could be transferred to a spacious court located on the ground floor. The CMM ordered notice to Mr. Karunanidhi.

In the counter filed on his behalf by counsel, Mr. Karunanidhi said the power to transfer a case should be exercised judiciously and there should be sufficient and reasonable cause. The reason given by the police seeking the transfer of the case was `flimsy.' He said he had already filed a petition under Section 205 Cr.PC seeking permission to dispense with his personal attendance. If his plea was permitted, there could be no basis for the apprehension that a big crowd would gather(whenever he comes).

The objection to the petition would clearly reveal its intention to cause prejudice to him and not for the smooth conduct of the trial.

Apart from the merits and legal aspects, factually the petition was not maintainable, he said.

The police had submitted that the petitioner was going to his party office regularly and he could come to the court on the hearing dates. Hence the petition should be dismissed.

Mr. Karunanidhi was charged under Section 5 of the Tamil Nadu Essential Services Maintenance Act (TESMA) for allegedly instigating the government employees to strike work in July last.