Published on: 03rd August 2022 at 17:02 IST
The Kerala High Court ordered one-month suspension of all lower court proceedings against transport minister Antony Raju in the matter of evidence tampering.
Justice Ziyad Rahman A A noted that although accepting the plea, the petitioner’s alleged offences could only be prosecuted on the basis of a complaint by the relevant court or an authorised authority, not by the police. The court concluded that the Minister had established his case in the first instance.
While practising law, Antony Raju was accused of tampering with the evidence. The prosecution said that he plotted with a court clerk in Thiruvananthapuram to change an undergarment that was a physical evidence piece in a narcotics trafficking case. An Australian citizen was charged for violating the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances (NDPS) statute in this case.
The main argument of the petitioner, who was represented by attorney Deepu Thankan, was that Section 195 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) forbids courts from taking cognisance of complaints made by the police under Section 193 of the IPC unless all mandatory procedures required by Section 195 r/w Section 340 CrPC have been completed. It was argued that because the prosecution in this instance was started by the police rather than the court, it was illegal in and of itself.
In the meantime, George Vattukulam, a public interest litigation, has filed another petition in the ahigh Court asking for an accelerated trial in the matter.