The Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered the destruction of copies of a pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) book by author Pazha Nedumaran.
Pointing out that the LTTE were still a banned outfit, Justice V Muralidharan ordered the Q Branch Police officials to destroy the books following due procedure.
In 2002, author Pazha Nedumaran was arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for his pro-LTTE stance. The police had seized 1,709 copies of his book, Tamil Ealam Sivakkiradhu, a compilation of his speeches supporting the LTTE. The court was listening to an appeal by Nedumaran who had challenged a lower court order that dismissed his appeal on the return of his books.
“The union government banned the LTTE after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. The ban has been periodically extended and it has been declared an unlawful association. If the books were returned to the appellant, naturally, he will circulate the books to general public and there is every possibility that public might get persuaded by the principles of the banned organisation and cause disturbance and threat to the peace and public tranquillity,” reasoned Justice Muralidharan, according to a report in the Times of India.
According to a report in The New Indian Express, while a chargesheet against the author was filed in 2005, the Tamil Nadu government withdrew the case in 2006. Nedumaran had argued that it would serve no purpose for the books to be kept in police custody as they were meant for distribution abroad.
However, the Court held that Section 452 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which pertains to the ‘order for disposal of property at conclusion of trial’ had a wide scope to decide on the method of disposing possessions, the newspaper reported.
Upholding the appeal of the lower court, the Madras High Court said, “For the foregoing reasons, I am of the view that the trial court after analysing the rival contentions of both side, rightly dismissed the petition filed by the appellant. The order of the I Additional Sessions Judge, City Civil Court, Chennai, is well founded. There is no merit in this appeal and the same is liable to be dismissed.”