Four persons belonging to Idinthakarai and Koodankulam villages, who had been booked under Goondas Act since September 2012, have been exonerated by the Madras High Court (Madurai bench). In all, six men ranging in age from 23 to 68, were charged under Goodas as part of the State Government’s harassment campaign against the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy. All six have served between three and five months in jail on trumped up charges.
The Madras High Court’s decision to lift charges under Goondas Act further proves the long-standing allegation that the Tamil Nadu Government has abused the Indian Penal Code to stifle democratic dissent and crush the movement against the nuclear power plant.
In all, the Koodankulam Police Station has filed at least 325 cases against more than 200,000 people, including cases involving sedition and waging war against the state against nearly 10,000 people. Since most of the cases are against unnamed persons, it has been convenient for the Police to arrest randomly and then link the arrested persons to any one of the 325 cases.
Yesterday, the Madras High Court’s Madurai bench exonerated the following persons based on an appeal filed against the confirmations of Goondas Act by the NSA and Goondas Board.
Lourdusamy, age 68, Idinthakarai. Arrested 10.9.12. Crime Nos. 349/12, 300/12, 70/12 — Vellore prison (Sedition and Waging War)
Nazraen, age 41, Idinthakarai. Arrested 10.9.12. Crime Nos. 349/12, 300/12, 70/12 — Vellore prison (Sedition and Waging War)
Thavasi Kumar aka Kumar, age 33, Vairavikinaru. Arrested 9.10.12. Crime Nos. 348/12, 350/12, 346/12 — Palayamkottai prison (Sedition and Waging War)
Jesurajan, age 38, Koodankulam. Arrested end October, 2012. Crime Nos. 341/12. 342/12, 345/12, 352/12 — Palayamkottai prison (Sedition and Waging War)
The appeal against the Goondas Board confirmation for Sindhu Bharat is coming up for hearing today. Details of Sindhu Bharat are as follows:
Sindhu Bharat, age 23, Koodankulam. Arrested 9.10.12. Crime Nos. 349/12, 350/12, 70/12 — Palayamkottai prison (Waging war)
The appeal against the Goondas Board confirmation for Santiahu Rayappan (details below) is expected to come up for hearing later this month.
Santiahu Rayappan, age 33, Idinthakarai. Arrested November 2012. Crime Nos. 349/12, 304/12, 397/12.
The rules governing the draconian Goondas Act require that named persons should be produced before the Goondas Board and the Board’s report confirming or rejecting the invocation be submitted to the Government within 7 weeks (50 days) of invocation of the Act. However, it is now more than 7 weeks since the appearance of the named persons before the Board. The Board is yet to submit a report on four out of six persons.
Of the six, four people were represented by Adv. Lajapatarai and his team in Madurai on behalf of the PMANE. Two others arranged their own counsels.
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