HC reserves orders on HCPs on 'illegal' detention of 2 MLAs

HC reserves orders on HCPs on 'illegal' detention of 2 MLAs
The Madras High Court today reserved orders on habeas corpus pleas relating to alleged illegal detention of two MLAs at a resort where legislators supporting AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala are housed. After hearing arguments of Public Prosecutor (PP) Rajarathinam and K Balu, counsel for T Ramachandran, MLA, a division bench of Justice M Jaichandren and Justice T Mathivanan reserved orders on the HCPs seeking to trace and set at liberty Ramachandran and Geetha.

During arguments, the public prosecutor submitted before the court the statements of the two MLAs in their own handwriting, stating that they have not been illegally detained. Balu submitted that the only legal remedy in HCP is that the person, who is illegally detained, has to be ordered to be produced in person before the court and mere statements cannot be taken into account by the court.

Objecting to this, the PP submitted that it was only on the counsel's suggestion the Superintendent of Police at Kancheepuram had set up a team, comprising an ADSP, four inspectors, two SIs and two revenue officials in the rank of Tahsildhars to inspect the resort and record their statements. The PP submitted that statements of not only the two MLAs but also those of another 119 MLAs were also recorded. The team had presented a questionnaire to the MLAs and requested them to fill it on their own.

"We have also those statements but as the HCPs is confined to only these two MLAs, I am submitting their statements. We are ready to submit the other statements, if the court directs," he said. Objecting to the counsel's contention, the PP said the counsel is now raising objections, saying he wants appointment of an amicus curiae or a district judge to personally go and inspect the resort and file a report. The Public Prosecutor wanted to know from whom he has to get instructions on the matter.

The bench said, "The government is there, the government is functioning. Then how can you say from whom you have to get instructions." On February 10, a division bench had sought the state government's response to allegations that AIADMK MLAs were being illegally detained at the resort and 20 of them were on a fast.
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