Justice GR Swaminathan quashed the Thug Act on Chavku Shankar; Another judge dissented

Justice GR Swaminathan quashed Chavku Shankar’s remand, holding that his speeches were not capable of disturbing public peace and that all the cases registered against him were not shown in his remand.

On the 4th, the Cybercrime Police arrested Chavku Shankar in Theni on the 4th of last month in the matter of defaming the police officers, especially the female constables. A case was registered against him under 5 sections.

Theni Palani Chettipatti police registered a case against 3 persons including Chavku Shankar for possessing ganja during the arrest. After this, Chavku Shankar was produced in the court and lodged in Coimbatore Central Jail. Apart from this, as there are various other cases against him, arrest him under the Anti-Gupta Act Chennai Police Commissioner ordered. Because of this, Chavku Shankar was jailed under the Gangster Act.

Meanwhile, Kamala, the mother of Chavku Shankar, filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court with the demand that the thug law imposed on her son Chavku Shankar should be canceled and released. These petitions were being heard in the Madras High Court for the past few days.

In this case, the inquiry in this regard came up for hearing on Friday before a bench consisting of Justices Swaminathan and Balaji. Then, “Why was the ganja case not included in the order to imprison Chakku Shankar under the Gangster Act?” Justice Swaminathan questioned.

The judge justified the arguments submitted by Advocate General PS Raman as to why the request for immediate dismissal of the plea, which is not usually accepted while dealing with recruitment cases seeking cancellation of the detention order, was listed.

The judge further said, “Two high-ranking persons met me in person and therefore I took up the case urgently for final hearing. Had I not been spoken to, I would have taken the usual course of action as expected by the Advocate General.”
The judge also noted the dual reasons that satisfied him to strike down the Anti-Hooliganism Act.

“I am quite satisfied that the cases registered against Chavku Shankar are not capable of disturbing public order,” the judge said. The judge said that it was not acceptable to say that his comments would disturb the smooth pace of social life and statements recorded under Section 161 Cr.PC.

The judge said that if he had committed a wrongdoing by defaming the female constables or circulating a false document, he had committed an actionable offense and should therefore be tried in court.

The Palanisettipatty police had registered a case against the accused under the NTPS (Cannabis Case) Act, but it was dangerous not to show up in custody and not mention the arrest, the judge said.

This indicates non-utilization of the relevant fact on the part of the custodial officer, the judge said, even if the prisoner was granted bail in the cases referred to in the remand, but not released from custody.
“It is settled that an order of detention can be issued only when the detaining authority is satisfied on the basis of the documents on record that there is a possibility or possibility that the detainee will be released on bail. If there is no such possibility or likelihood, the strict provisions of the Detention Act will not be invoked,” the judge said.

However, the other judge was of the view that the government should be allowed to file a counter-petition.

As there was no consensus among the judges, the matter was transferred to the bench of the interim Chief Justice for a final verdict.

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