Court directs Crime Branch to register case against O. Panneerselvam, his son

The accused had intentionally furnished false information in the affidavits, filed alongside their nomination papers, complaint filed by a former DMK member alleges

The Theni Special Court has directed the District Crime Branch (DCB) police here to register cases against AIADMK coordinator and former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, and his son O.P. Raveendranath Kumar, a Lok Sabha MP, for alleged offense under Section 125-A of the Representation of People Act.

Following a complaint by Milani, a former DMK district youth wing coordinator, the court ordered the police to register a case. The complainant alleged that the accused had knowingly furnished false information regarding their immovable properties, agricultural properties, annual income, liabilities and educational qualification in the affidavits filed along with the nomination papers as per Sections 33 and 33-A of RP Act.

The court observed that the case required further deliberation by way of police investigation in order to bring the entire truth and best evidence with regard to the facts alleged in the complaint. Besides, the case intrinsically assumed much public interest as the matter pertained to the constitutional process of electing an MLA or MP to the State Assembly.

It is the anguish of every citizen that the nation is still fighting to conduct a fair election in terms of constitutional provisions. “Therefore, we cannot set an example by making the complainant prosecute this case through a private complaint. It is the duty of every government agency to take the responsibility of prosecution of cases of this nature,” the judge noted.

Magistrate’s prerogative

Moreover, the law is well settled that when the complaint has been filed under Section 190 of CrPC, it is the prerogative of the Magistrate to decide whether to proceed under Section 200 of CrPC or to give direction for a police investigation by taking into consideration the nature of each case. Hence, as far as this case was concerned, for the reasons discussed above, the court deemed it fit to invoke Section 156 (3) of CrPC. The court also directed the police to give protection to the complainant and adjourned the case for February 7.

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