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September 11, 2000
TN files counter-affidavit in TADA detenues case
The Tamil Nadu government has justified its decision to withdraw Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act and other charges against five detenues in the state in exchange for matinee idol Dr Rajakumar and three of his relatives, who are being held by forest brigand Veerappan for over six weeks.
The state government's stand has been made clear in a counter-affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on Monday, in response to a notice issued by the court on a public interest petition filed by Dr B L Wadhera, questioning the authority of the state government to withdraw cases against five TADA detenues.
Though copies of the counter-affidavit were not made available to the press by Tamil Nadu counsel V S Pragasam, the state government is believed to have taken the stand that it had power under Section 321 of the Criminal Procedure Code to withdraw any criminal charge against an accused in public interest.
The notice and petition were issued on September 1 by a three-judge bench headed by Justice S P Bharucha while admitting a special leave petition by Abdul Kareem, challenging the decision of the Karnataka government to release 30 associates of Veerappan and withdraw TADA cases against 115 of his men.
Kareem was aggrieved of the impugned decision as his son was among 28 police officials gunned down by the brigand and his men in 1992.
The court had then also issued notices to the Karnataka government and the Centre on another public interest petition challenging the decision of the state government. On September 4, another bench headed by Chief Justice A S Anand had asked the parties to complete their pleadings within 10 days and then approach the court for fixing an early hearing in the case.
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