HC dismisses criminal revision plea in unlawful assembly case

 thehindu.com  10/18/2020 01:24:33 

No force under the sun can prevent police from investigating into the affairs of May 17 Movement coordinator Thirumurugan Gandhi and finding out if he was being operated by international outfits. However, such an exercise need not be carried in a nondescript case booked for unlawful assembly, the Madras High Court has said.

Justice P.N. Prakash made the observation while dismissing a criminal revision petition filed by the Central Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID). The revision was preferred against the refusal of a special court for cases against legislators to order reinvestigation in the case booked for assembling at the Marina beach here on May 20, 2018.

Initial case

Initially, the Zam Bazaar police station had booked the case regarding the unlawful assembly, in violation of prohibitory orders, against Mr. Gandhi, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Vaiko and others. It was the prosecutions claim that they had gathered near Kannagi statue to condole the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

However, on July 9, 2019, Justice N. Anand Venkatesh of the High Court refused to quash many other cases booked against Mr. Gandhi and directed the police to investigate thoroughly as to whether he was only the face of a larger net.

Subsequently, the Director General of Police transferred all pending cases against him from local police to the CB-CID.

In the meantime, the unlawful assembly case got transferred to the special court for legislators since Mr. Vaiko had become a Rajya Sabha member. The CB-CID filed a petition before the special court seeking permission to conduct further investigation in the unlawful assembly case. Its plea was turned down on February 7 and hence the present revision.

Stating that the charge of unlawful assembly was too ordinary a case to permit further investigation especially when the Zam Bazaar police had already completed the probe and filed a final report, Justice Prakash said: This court is at loss to understand as to what is there to conduct further investigation in a case which relates to violation of prohibitory orders.

Fresh FIR

If the State has credible materials in hand to show that the accused had violated the prohibitory orders at the instance of LTTE or ISI, Pakistan or Lashkar-e-Taiba etc., they can straightaway register a fresh First Information Report under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967 instead of praying for further investigation in this nondescript case.

No power under the sun can prevent the police from investigating into the affairs of Thirumurugan Gandhi and the persons behind him. Even a fresh FIR can be registered against him if the police have the material to show that he is being operated by forces inimical to India.

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