Kaladevi, a woman from Madurai, was booked under the Goondas Act despite having no prior history of criminal offences.

Do you have Goondas Act targets to meet Madras HC slams TN police
news Court Monday, July 23, 2018 - 19:17

Days after the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court slammed the Theni police for booking a woman- with no prior criminal record- under the Goondas Act, the district Superintendent of Police on Monday withdrew the charge.

Justice GR Swaminathan had slammed the Theni SP, who appeared before the Court on Monday, asking, “Do you have Goondas targets to meet? On what basis did you charge her with the Goondas Act?”

Accepting the police’s revocation, the judge passed orders issuing bail to Kaladevi.

Kaladevi, a resident of PC Patty in Theni got into a heated argument with her neighbour Parameshwari in June this year. When Parameshwari's mother Parvathy intervened and came to her daughter's defence, Kaladevi allegedly pushed the elderly woman down. A few hours later, Parvathy died in hospital.

The district police had slapped her with the Goondas Act, despite Kaladevi having no prior record of criminal offences. Kaladevi was booked under Sections 294(b)(sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place), 323(Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 302(Punishment for murder).

Appearing before the court on Monday, Additional Advocate General K Chellapandian submitted a petition to revoke the order.

The Tamil Nadu Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Forest Offenders, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders, Slum Grabbers and Video Pirates Act, 1982 or simply the Goondas Act defines a goonda as “a member of or leader of a gang, habitually commits, or attempts to commit or abets the commission of offences.”

Under the Goondas Act, a person may be detained without bail for a period that may extend up to one year.

Citing a previous family dispute between Kaladevi and the SP, the judge stated on Friday, "by no stretch of imagination, the detention order can be slapped against her."

The state police have frequently used the Act for preventive detention in the recent past despite being cautioned by the Courts not to do so.

Also read: Gross misuse? No prior record but TN woman booked under Goondas Act