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The High Court said the charges against the petitioner are serious in nature and ordered a speedy trial.

Noose tightens around TTV Dhinakaran Madras HC wants FERA case trial completed in 3 monthsPTI File photo
news Court Monday, July 24, 2017 - 17:27

The noose tightened around AIADMK (Amma) Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran as the Madras High Court on Monday ordered the trial court to conclude the main proceedings in a FERA case within a period of three months.

In his order, Justice MS Ramesh observed, “The allegations levelled against the petitioner are of serious in nature and in order to secure the ends of justice, a speedy trial is undoubtedly warranted in the present case. In view of the same, the learned Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate(E.O.II),Egmore, Chennai is directed to conclude the main proceedings, within a period of three months from the date of receipt of this order and if need be, on day-to-day basis.”

The matter relates to one of the two FERA cases filed against Dhinakaran by the Enforcement Directorate in 1996. The AIADMK (Amma) leader faces charges of depositing $ 1,04,93,313 in the current account of a company called M/s Dipper Investments Limited that was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. Dhinakaran, who was the sole director of the company, had done these transactions through a total of 21 cheques according to a report on TOI. The money was transferred through a person not recognised by the RBI in 1996.

While Dhinakaran had been discharged by a trial court in the case in May 2005, the Madras High Court had in February this year set aside the order of discharge. In April, the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore ordered the framing of charges against Dhinakaran. However, the AIADMK (Amma) leader moved the High Court challenging this order, saying that he was not given a chance to present his side before the framing of charges.

While observing that framing of charges is “an important event” in the trial of warrant cases, the HC directed the trial court to grant one day time for Dhinakaran to put forth his arguments with regard to framing of charges. Justice Ramesh pointed out that there could not have been a grave miscarriage of justice if one day’s time was given to the petitioner for advancing arguments on the framing of charges, which was denied by the trial court.  

The High Court also observed that the Additional Solicitor General’s argument that Dhinakaran had protracted the proceedings from 1996 is not substantiated by any documents and observed that the prosecution had also contributed to the delay by examining only seven witnesses in the case.

The High Court then went on to order the exercise be completed before July 31 and within one working day.

Monday’s court order comes at a time when Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and his cabinet have distanced themselves from Dhinakaran, keeping him away from the affairs of the party and government.

 

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