June 11, 2010 1:30:08 am
The Chennai police got in touch with their counterparts in Delhi after a petition was filed at the Madras High Court on Thursday seeking the arrest of visiting Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda in connection with three pending cases including murder and abduction. Devananda is currently in the national capital as part of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksas delegation.
Devananda had been declared an absconding accused and a proclaimed offender by the lower courts in Chennai over two decades ago.
Incidentally,the petition against the Lankan politician of Tamil origin,one of the most vocal critics of the LTTE,was filed by P Pugalenthi,the counsel who represents Nalini Sriharan,a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
City police commissioner T Rajendiran said in Chennai that they had gotten in touch with the police in Delhi and were awaiting their response,while Devananda said in Delhi that he would face the charges against him.
In his writ petition,Pugalenthi said that Devananda,currently the Traditional Industries and Small Enterprises Development Minister in the Mahinda Rajapaksas government,was involved in three criminal cases that are pending before courts in Chennai.
The controversial Tamil militant-turned-politician is charged under sections 147,148,149,307,302 IPC r/w 25 of Indian Arms Act for shooting and killing one Thirunavukkarasu in Chennai in 1986. The charges were framed in January,1987 and the Additional Sessions Judge in Chennai had issued a Proclamation Warrant in June 1994,treating him as an absconding accused.
In another case,he has been charged with kidnapping a boy for ransom and the case pending since 1988. The third case relates to a complaint filed by one Valavan in 1990 accusing him of rioting with deadly weapons and threatening to kill him.
Stating that he had come to know of Devanandas visit through media reports,Pugalenthi said that the police should discharge their duty and arrest him immediately. The advocate had,on Monday and Tuesday,sent two representations by fax to the Union Home and External Affairs secretaries,where the State Home secretary and DGP were named as respondents,asking them to arrest and prosecute Devananda. He said that he had filed the writ petition since the representations had yielded no result. He said the failure to arrest and prosecute an absconding accused was violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
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