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Netto case: JD(S) district panel member examined

By Our Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, NOV. 27. The district committee member of the Alappuzha unit of the Janata Dal(Secular), Iqbal Khan, on Friday told the Judicial First Class Magistrate, Cherian K. Kuriakose, that he had reached the former Transport Minister, Neelalohithadasan Nadar's office at 1 p.m. on December 21, 1999 and left at 2.30 p.m. and nothing as was alleged by the former Transport Secretary Nalini Netto had happened.

The magistrate was examining Mr. Khan as a defence witness in the trial of the attempted molestation case. He said Ms. Netto had arrived at 1.30 p.m. and left at 2 p.m. When she was leaving, she saw V.P. Ramakrishna Pillai, then Water Resources Minister, coming out of his room and had waited for a while to let him pass.

Under cross-examination, Mr. Khan could not explain how, from the spot where he was at the time, he saw Ms. Netto leaving. He further said he had impleaded himself as a defence witness in the inquiry earlier conducted by the Sasidharan Commission into the matter.

The former Transport Minister's additional private secretary, K.P. Krishnan, who was examined on November 23, said he had not told anyone that Dr. Nadar would be in the Assembly complex on that particular day. He had been on leave from December 20 to 24, but had not told anyone about this. The details of his leave were with Dr. Nadar's private secretary, V.V. Vijayan, he added.

Dr. Nadar's personal assistant, Rajendran, who was examined on November 18, said he had been in Dr. Nadar's office throughout the said day. He had been entrusted with the job of listening to the Assembly proceedings through the loudspeaker fitted in the office and reporting the same to the Minister.

Dr. Nadar had arrived at 11.30 a.m. and left for attending a function at the YMCA at 12.30 p.m. Ms. Netto had arrived with some files at 1.15 p.m. and waited for him. By 1.30 p.m., Dr. Nadar had returned and Ms. Netto showed him the files. He returned them to her after putting his signature on them. He had meanwhile asked his gunman to allow visitors who wanted to see him urgently.

No proof

Under cross-examination, Mr. Rajendran said there was nothing on record to prove that he was on duty at Mr. Nadar's office that day. Only Mr. Vijayan could testify to his presence there. He had recollected the incidents after going through Dr. Nadar's tour diary on that day.

Mr. Rajendran further said he was close to Dr. Nadar and had been a defence witness in the Kozhikode case against him, which was based on the complaint of the Forest official, Prakriti Srivastava.

The magistrate turned down the defence counsel's plea that Ananthalakshmi, section officer, who was in custody of the visitors' register in the complex and is a witness in the case, should be examined again. However, the Legislature Secretary was asked to produce the visitors' register again in the court.

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