Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Is the police ditching Amma ?

It was Jayalilathaa's promise to the people of bring to book many culprits who had wreaked havoc in Tamil Nadu. Be it the henchmen of M K Alagiri or the ruling party MLAs who indulged in ‘Katta Panchayats’ and ran a government of their own. Also Jayalalitha’s victory in the assembly polls was based on people’s desire to throw away the DMK government.

Even as the DMK was crying foul terming it as political vendetta...Understanding the clear mandate, Jayalalitha promptly instructed the police to go after the goons and book cases against them without fear or favour.   Many DMK bigwigs who were ruling the roost in Madurai using the name of Union Cabinet Minister MK.Alagiri were not only put behind bars but were also detained under the preventive detention law.

This action by the State police not only rattled the DMK's Madurai Strongman M K Alagiri but also the entire DMK machinery...Despite being humiliated by the Congress again and again the DMK did not dare to snap ties...the reason M K Alagiri was opposing the idea of pulling out from the his Union Cabinet post will become a casualty and he will land in Palayankottai prison. 

This being the ground doubts are raised whether the police is going soft on accused which had ultimately paved way for the detainees to walk out of prison.  Almost all the henchmen of Alagiri’s detention orders have been quashed by the Courts on the grounds of technical flaws.    The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court and the Madras High Court had quashed the detention orders against Pottu Suresh, Attack Pandi, Essar Gopi, VK.Gurusamy, Ocha Balu and Kudamurutti Arumugham.   The main ground for quashing the detention order was that the authorities failed to dispose of the representations from the concerned against the detention order ‘within time’.  

However, its not new for the police officials to make a weak case...In the infamous Gold Quest scam, which saw lakhs of innocent depositors cheated to the tune of several crores the Crime Branch CID of the state police detained the Managing Director of the firm Pushpam Appalam Naidu under the GOONDAS act.  But the Madras High Court quashed the detention order merely on the ground that ‘the grounds of detention was served after a week’s delay’.  Allegations were made at that time that the CB.CID police had made this flaw deliberately after receiving kickbacks.

Whispers doing in political circles of TN is that a similar pattern is being followed in the cases of Alagiri’s henchmen. The hand in glove attitude is out in the open and whispers are doing the rounds whether the police have a hand in creating a weak case for detention deliberately.    As earlier as 2002, at the time of quashing the detention order of a notorious rowdy Ayothikuppam Veeramani, a Division Bench comprising Justice Jayasimmha Babu and E.Padmanabhan had pointed out about the complicity of the police with the accused.

The Bench while quashing the detention order against Veeramani observed, “ The rationale for preventive detention is the need to protect society from persons whose conduct is inimical to the country's safety or society's welfare and the urgency of the need to take prompt action against them without having to wait for the normal procedures of the person being brought to trial and, thereafter, in case of conviction being incarcerated. The duty to protect the country and the society casts an obligation on the State to ensure that whenever it exercises power of preventive detention, it exercises the same with due care and that the exercise conforms to other requirements of law. Omission to do so would be an instance of the State failing in its duty to protect the country and the society.
Even in cases where the authorities concerned have acted with utmost good faith and with the greatest possible efficiency in clamping an order of detention against a person who fully deserves it, such an order could nevertheless, be set naught by the acts of omission and commission on the part of the State's functionaries as has happened in this case. Repeated instances of such acts of omission and commission which have come to our notice in numerous cases, make us wonder as to whether such omissions are bona fide, or have been made to help the very persons against whom the order of detention is clamped.
The State would be failing in it's duty if it fails to take steps to ascertain the cause for such lapses and take action against those who commit these lapses at whatever level. The State cannot be a silent spectator and merely close the eyes by not taking steps to ascertain the cause for the lapses pointed out by the Court and taking appropriate measures to prevent the recurrence of such lapses.
The lapse that we have pointed out in this order is a very elementary one and should not have happened at all. The detenue in this case is one who is conversant with Tamil and not with English. This is not a solitary case where the detenue knows only Tamil and not English. The majority of the detenues seem to be persons who do not know English and who are only conversant with Tamil. The State, therefore, should be fully alive to the need to communicate to the detenue the detention order and the grounds accurately in Tamil, and to ensure that the order so communicated fully complies with the requirements of law. The errors of translation or omission to translate, which we have found in this case are mistakes, which the State should not have permitted to occur.
Effective remedial measures must be taken by the State to prevent recurrence of such errors. The State should also cause enquiry to be made as to how such lapses have occurred, and if it finds after enquiry, that there has in fact been a lack of due diligence on the part of those who are concerned, or deliberate omission actuated by mala fide intentions, the State should initiate appropriate action. Failure to do so would be a failure to protect the public from the very persons whose activity is considered by the State to be inimical to public welfare, and whose detention is considered by the State itself to be necessary.
We, therefore, direct that a copy of this order be sent to the Chief Secretary of the State, the Home Secretary, as also to the Director General of Police and to the Police Commissioners of the Metropolitan cities who are empowered to make detention orders, so that they will take necessary steps to prevent a situation like the one that we had to deal in this case and also take appropriate action immediately after the reasons for which the orders of detention are set aside by the Courts, are made known to them.”
Attack Pandi
What had happened in 2002 has only seems to be repeating this time in the case of Alagiri’s henchmen.   Every detainee would be given an opportunity to represent before the detaining authority and the Home Secretary to make representations against his detention.   The concerned authorities should dispose of the representations based on their merit before the Review Board reviews the detenue’s detention.  

In the case of Alagiri’s henchmen, it appears that the representations were not disposed off in time, which ultimately paved the way for Alagiri’s men walk free from prison. Whether the police are ditching Amma and are acting in unison with DMK people for reasons best known to them remains a mystery.

So what happens to Amma's biggest election promise to clean up Madurai and other parts of the State???

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