Evidence tampering case: Kerala HC quashes proceedings against state Transport Minister
Kerala High Court has quashed the proceedings in the Evidence tampering case against Kerala Transport Minister Antony Raju citing technical reasons. The case was pending before the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court at Nedumangad in Thiruvananthapuram district.
Kerala High Court has quashed the proceedings against Kerala Transport Minister Antony Raju in the Evidence tampering case citing technical reasons. The case was pending before the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court at Nedumangad in Thiruvananthapuram district.
The court also directed the registry to take appropriate action in this regard under the relevant provisions of the CrPC. The Single Bench of Justice Ziya Rahman AA observed while quashing the proceedings that, "though this court interfered with the proceedings for technical reasons it cannot be ignored that the allegations raised are serious in nature. The materials placed before this court reveal allegations which are of such nature and gravity that interfere with judicial functions and thereby pollute the mechanism of administration of justice. Such acts are required to be dealt with strictly and with all vigour and this court expects a positive and effective follow-up action on this from the authorities concerned, to ensure that a fair trial in accordance with the law takes place and the culprits are punished adequately."
While quashing the proceedings, Court also took note of the contention made by the Minister that the police have no right to file a case against him as the evidence concerned was in the custody of the trial court. The Evidence Tampering Case was registered against the minister when he was an advocate. It pertains that he conspired with a clerk of the district court of Thiruvananthapuram and replaced an undergarment, which was a material object in a drug trafficking case.
The case also involved an Australian citizen, Andrew Salvatore who was booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. The district court later sentenced Salvatore to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and he was later acquitted by the Kerala High Court after the undergarment presented as evidence in the district court was found smaller in size and could not have been worn by the accused at the time of his arrest.
The then Minister was the counsel of the accused (Salvatore) at that time. The Police had filed a charge sheet against the minister in 2006 and it was allegedly pending in the magistrate court for years. (ANI)
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