Prakash case transferred

CHENNAI, FEB. 26. The Madras High Court has transferred a pornography case, involving an orthopaedic surgeon L. Prakash and others, from the Fast Track Court V to another court presided over by a male judge.

Justice S. Ashok Kumar, who last week permitted defence counsel to view one or two of the seized compact discs in the judge's chamber, gave a direction to this effect today stating that since the FTC-V judge was a woman judicial officer, there would be embarrassment for the public prosecutor and defence counsel to view the pornographic CDs.

"The public prosecutor and counsel for the petitioners submitted that there would be some embarrassment for them to view the CDs in the chamber of the district judge, who is a woman. There is embarrassment not only for the presiding officer of the court but also for counsel for the accused. Also, the entire proceedings will be about exploitation of women and other sexual activities by the accused," Mr. Justice Ashok Kumar observed.

Pointing out that the public prosecutor had also agreed to the arrangement, he then transferred the trial to Fast Track Court-IV.

Mr. Justice Ashok Kumar, however, confirmed an earlier direction of the High Court for the expeditious completion of the trial.

Dr. Prakash has been in custody since December 14, 2001. He is charged with committing offences under the provisions of the Information Technology Act, Arms Act, the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act and the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act.