The Madras High Court Friday acquitted a man sentenced to six months rigorous imprisonment by a lower court for allegedly damaging late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's photograph in the city corporation in 2001.
Justice C T Selvam set aside the order of III Additional Sessions judge who convicted C Tamilvendan under IPC Sections and also the Tamil Nadu Public Property (Prevention of Damage and Loss) Act, 1992 and sentenced him.
The lower court had also imposed a fine of Rs 500.
Allowing a criminal revision petition of Tamilvendan, Justice Selvam said, "The findings of conviction arrived at by courts are erroneous and this revision is to be allowed."
According to the prosecution, Tamilvendan had on September 21, 2001 entered the corporation premises and damaged two photographs of Jayalalithaa by throwing them down from the second floor.
By the act, the petitioner also caused a loss worth Rs 730 to the corporation, it had contended.
Accepting the submission, the lower court had on January 1, 2011 convicted Tamilvendan.
Justice Selvam referred to the prosecution witnesses-- a police constable, who tried to stop Tamilvendan, and employees of the Corporation.
"The evidence of alleged eye witnesses is parrot like and in the circumstances, the irresistible conclusion would be that they had no room to depose freely and were bound to stick to the official tale," the Judge said.
He also said examination of two witnesses, who admittedly were railway ticket brokers, in support of the recovery of broken photo frame and glass pieces, was tell-tale.
Hence, he allowed the plea of the petitioner and set aside the January 11, 2010 order of the lower court.