Madurai: The Madras High Court on Thursday
dismissed a petition filed by Union minister M K Alagiri and
three other DMK functionaries seeking to quash an assault case
registered against them in the run-up to the April 13 Tamil
Nadu assembly polls.
When the petition came up for hearing before him,
Justice R S Ramanathan said the FIR against the Chemicals and
Fertilisers Minister and the three DMK functionaries,
including Madurai Deputy Mayor P M Mannan, had been filed by
police under various sections, including 143 (Unlawful
assembly) and 332 (Voluntarily Causing hurt to deter public
servant from performing his duty).
Though the complainant had denied and retracted his
complaint, the court noted the FIR had been filed based on the
incident and it was open to the police to take further action,
and refused to quash the case.
On April 2, police registered a case against Alagiri,
son of Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, and 52 other DMK men, in
connection with alleged assault of the tehsildar and Melur
assistant returning officer by DMK activists in his presence.
Tehsildar Kalimuthu had alleged in his complaint that
he and a videographer, part of a flying squad, were assaulted
by DMK activists when they videographed Alagiri`s visit to a
temple in Keelavalavu in Melur taluk.
However, in a U-turn, Kalimuthu later accused police
of dictating the complaint and said he was not assaulted.
Advocate Chellapandi today argued that police had
filed the case based on video recording and the FIR could not
be quashed just because Kalimuthu had retracted his complaint.
The tehsildar, instead of informing his immediate
superior who asked him to videograph the event, of his
intention, had gone to the press informing them about it with
an "ulterior motive", he alleged.
Alagiri submitted that the tehsildar had lodged a
false complaint against him on `instigation` of Madurai
collector U Sagayam, who he alleged was "inimical" against the
petitioners, pursuant to filing of a PIL petition against him
in the Madras High Court in Chennai.
He said Kalimuthu had denied any such assault. The
complaint had been made with "malafide intention, the
continuation of investigation based on this complaint was
unwarranted and was an abuse of process of law," Alagiri
He pleaded that the court quash the complaint "in the
interest of justice". Kalimuthu submitted that he had indeed lodged a
complaint against Alagiri and others. However, he claimed he
had later "clarified" to the police about the incident.
He submitted that he and the videographer had been
roughed up only when "the temple authorities resisted us from
entering the temple with footwear" on the day of the incident.
"This incident alone happened on that day. No such
incident or occurrence took place on the date as alleged by my
complaint to the police. Thereafter I gave my explanation
under what situation I have made such a false complaint. I
have sent a letter to the chief secretary, commissioner of
revenue and DGP on April l4," he submitted.
Justice Ramanathan held that the high court could not
intervene in such matters. It was for the police to take a
decision on accepting the complainant`s explanation and
closing the case as a mistake of fact, he ruled.