Madurai: After a delay of 118 days, the
CBI has filed an appeal before the Madras High Court Bench
here against a lower court verdict acquitting 17 persons,
including a DSP, in the 2007 Dinakaran newspaper office attack
Stating that the Centre had taken time in granting
permission to go in for the appeal, the CBI also filed a
petition requesting that the delay be condoned. If the court
decides to excuse the delay, the appeal would be taken up for
hearing. The deadline for filing the appeal was within 90 days
after the lower court gave its verdict.
A Division Bench comprising Justices M Chockalingam
and M Duraiswamy issued noticed last evening to all the
accused to reply to the petition for condoning delay and
posted the case for hearing on August 2.
Three employees of the Tamil newspaper, owned by the
Maran brothers - Chief Minister M Karunanidhi`s nephews, lost
their lives in the attack on the office on May 9, 2007
following the publication of a survey which gave an edge to
Deputy Chief Minister and Karunanidhi`s son M K Stalin over
his brother Union Minister Alagiri to succeed their father.
It had soured the relations between the family of
Karunanidhi and the Marans but they later patched up.
The CBI counsel contended that there was a good chance
of succeeding in appeal against acquittal with "strong
sufficient and cogent evidence" to establish the guilt.
He said no prejudice would be caused to the interest
of justice if the delay in filing the appeal was condoned. But
grave prejudice would be caused to the interest of justice if
the delay in filing the appeal was not condoned.
The Principal District and Sessions Court here had
acquitted all the accused on the ground that the prosecution
failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.
The then DSP V Rajaram was also acquitted of charges
of failure to perform his duty.