Chennai: Madras High Court on Thursday quashed the
detention of Tamil film director Seeman, founder leader of a
little known pro-Tamil outift, under National Security Act for
his alleged inflammatory speech in July last.
Allowing a habeas corpus petition by Seeman`s brother S
James Peter, the court set aside the NSA detention on the
ground that the order was issued by the Additional
Commissioner of Police and not the Commissioner of Police
(CoP) as required under the Act.
Seeman, founder leader of Naam Tamizhar Iyakkam, was
arrested here on July 13 for his alleged hate speech made
during a protest against attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen
allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy.
A case was filed against him under Sec 153 (A) (promoting
enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race,
and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony). ADCP
Sanjay Arora, who was then the acting CoP, had on July 16
passed an order detaining Seeman under NSA.
Challenging this, Seeman`s brother had moved the court.
When the matter came up before a bench comprising Justice
Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice D.Haripanthaman, Tamil Nadu
Advocate General P S Raman submitted that since the CoP was on
training, the ACP was holding charge of the post. An office
memorandum was issued to this effect. Since NSA was invoked in
a preventive detention, it was valid, he argued.
The Bench said in its order that "since the Additional
Commissioner is subordinate to the Commissioner of Police, he
cannot function under the provision of National Security Act.
Hence, the detention order is set aside."