The Madras High Court has quashed criminal cases pending against two DMK ministers -- T M Anbarasan and Ma Subramaniam -- and 16 others before the Special Court for cases against MPs and MLAs in the city.
Justice M Nirmal Kumar quashed the proceedings, while allowing two criminal original petitions from the 18 persons on October 27.
Ms Anbarasan is now state Minister for Rural Industries, and Mr Subramanian holds the Health and Family Welfare portfolio.
The charge against the petitioners was that they had indulged in violence during a civic bypoll in April 2005. They had allegedly also set fire to the car of A Santosh, the then councillor of 136th division, who had lodged the complaint.
Allowing the petitions, Justice Nirmal Kumar noted that there was nothing to show the presence of smell and traces of petrol in the damaged car.
The complainant, who had lost the vehicle, clearly stated that the accused were not the cause for the fire and he had mistakenly given their names, the judge noted. The petitioners and the complainant belong to rival political parties and there seems to be some animosity among them and on the date of occurrence, a surcharged atmosphere prevailed due to the civic bypoll.
The complainant also was not sure the reason for the fire on his vehicle and there was nothing on record to show that the vehicle was set on fire by using petrol, the judge noted. Further, the statements and documents had reached the court belatedly and no reason was given for the delay, the judge said.
Above all, the case was pending without any progress for nearly a decade. "In view of the above, continuation of the proceedings against the petitioners would amount to abuse of process of law," the judge said and quashed the proceedings pending before the Special Court.
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