Chennai: The Madras High Court on Friday directed Tamil Nadu Police to respond to a plea by the accused in the Kodanad murder and heist case, seeking that former Chief Minister K. Palaniswami and AIADMK former interim General Secretary and late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa’s close aide V.K. Sasikala be examined.
A single-judge bench of Justice M. Nirmal Kumar asked the Sholurmattam police in Nilgiris district to file its reply to the plea by the three accused in the Kodanad estate murder and heist case which took place in 2017. It directed the Public Prosecutor, Hassan Mohammed Jinnah, that the reply be filed positively by September 27.
The three accused — D. Deepu, A. Santhosh Samy, and M.S. Satheeshan — filed the revision petition before the Madras High Court after the trial court had refused to summon Palaniswami and Sasikala.
Justice Nirmal Kumar, however, told counsel for the accused that they have not listed out the reasons to summon some people for examination as defence witnesses.
District Sessions Judge C. Sanjai Babu has in his order passed on April 30, 2021, said that the three accused had filed a petition before him to summon nine individuals including Sasikala, Palaniswami, Sasikala’s relatives Elavarasi and Sudhakaran, former Nilgiris Collector Shankar, former Superintendent of Police Murali Rambha, AIADMK state organiser Sajeevan, Estate manager Natarajan, and Sunil who is under the care of Sajeevan.
The prime accused, K.V.Sayan, had also filed a petition before the trial court to summon nine witnesses for examination.
The only common witness in both the petitions was estate manager Natarajan.
During the trial in the sessions court on April 30, Palaniswami was the Chief Minister, and the trial court judge observed that the accused cannot abuse the process of the court to summon the Chief Minister of the state without any relevance.