The Madras High Court observed that counselling could not act as a bar in conducting the trial of cases, while noting that the proceedings in the case would reveal the insensitivity in conducting one of the oldest matters pending in the Sessions Court for Exclusive Trial of Bomb blast / NIA cases, Poonamallee.

The High Court made the observations in a plea by the mother of the slain BJP Tamil Nadu State General Secretary V Ramesh, also known as Auditor Ramesh, who was hacked to death inside the compound of his house in Salem in the year 2013. The order of December 22, 2022 was uploaded recently.

The Bench of Justice R.N. Manjula observed that “It is astonishing to note that the matter is being adjourned for at least more than fifty hearings for counselling. It is not known what kind of counselling is given and for whom. Even if the counselling is presumed to have been given to the victim, that cannot be a bar for the conduction of the case.”

Advocate R. Thiyagrajan appeared for the petitioner and Government Advocate A. Gopinath appeared for the respondent.

The case of the petitioner was that her deceased son was associated with RSS since 1978 and was holding an important position in BJP political party. In 2013, bomb blasts and serial killings took place and people who belonged to the Hindutva movement were targeted by Islamic Terrorists and her son was amongst those who were killed.

A complaint was filed and a case was registered for the offence under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. The chargesheet was filed in the year 2014 but the case had not progressed in a reasonable manner. Aggrieved by the delay in trial, the petitioner approached the High Court seeking direction to the Trial Court for speedy disposal of the case.

Concerns were raised by the petitioner that the evidence of the eyewitnesses of the occurrence were very material and that they all were aged around 80 years.

The Court noted that the matter was being adjourned for more than fifty hearings for counselling and said that the concerns raised by the petitioner were reasonable and in cases where the key witnesses were senior citizens aged around 80 years, the Trial Courts should have acted in a responsible manner and should have examined the senior citizen witnesses as expeditiously as possible.

Accordingly, the Court directed the Trial Court to dispose of the case as expeditiously as possible, preferably within a period of two months, by posting the case on a day-to-day basis and if needed, adjourning the case not beyond two or three days.

It is reported that despite the direction of the High Court, the trial is yet to recommence.

Cause Title- V. Kamala v. The State of Tamil Nadu

Click here to read/download the Order