Thursday, Jan 01, 2004
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By Our Staff Reporter
Justice S. Ashok Kumar passed the order on a criminal revision petition from Ms. Selvi, who contended that though her name was not found in the first information report, the police included it in the charge sheet for ``abetting Mr. Selvaraj in accumulating wealth disproportionate to known sources of his income.''
The only charge against her was that a Tamil Nadu Housing Board flat, valued at Rs. 7.35 lakhs, was purchased in her name. Mr. Selvaraj was accused of amassing wealth to the tune of Rs. 29.27 lakhs beyond his known sources of income.
After a special judge in Madurai dismissed Ms. Selvi's discharge petition, she filed the revision plea.
According to the petitioner, she obtained a housing loan of Rs. 5.4 lakhs from the Indian Overseas Bank, besides executing four promissory notes for Rs. 3.65 lakhs between January 1998 and 1999. Her husband, a Veterinary department employee, duly communicated the details to his higher officials.
Mr. Justice Ashok Kumar pointed out that though the investigating officer told the court that he had inquired three of the persons involved, he could not submit any recorded statement. He also conceded that no such statement was sent to the court along with records as required under Section 173(5) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. ``The officer has not questioned either the petitioner or her husband or the bank manager or the holders of the promissory notes. As such, there is no material to disprove or doubt the money transactions the petitioner had with the four persons. But the officer, in spite of knowing about all these transactions, has wantonly suppressed all of them only to mislead the court. There is force in the contention of her counsel that the flat was included as a last item in the particulars of wealth of Mr. Selvaraj belatedly only to boost the figure of disproportionate wealth said to have been acquired by Mr. Selvaraj.''
The judge also ruled that ``as far as the flat acquired by Ms. Selvi is concerned, there is sufficient explanation available from the materials collected during the course of investigation.''
Reiterating that it was ``the duty of the investigating officer to place all materials collected by him in the course of investigation before the court,'' Mr. Justice Ashok Kumar said, ``the prosecution has wilfully and wantonly suppressed the financial transactions held by the petitioner while applying for sanction and also while filing the charge sheet.
``Had all these materials been placed before the sanctioning authority, he would not have or might not have granted sanction to prosecute the petitioner.''
The judge also said the failure to serve a written notice to Ms. Selvi seemed ``wilful and wanton,'' resulting in a ``gross miscarriage of justice (in the special court).'' He quashed all charges against Ms. Selvi and set aside the order of the Special Judge-cum-Chief Judicial Magistrate in Madurai.
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