Chennai, August 31: The Madras High Court has ordered disciplinary action against a Sessions Judge for ordering the re-arrest of a person in an attempt to murder case for which he had already completed his five years of prison term.
A Division Bench comprising Justice P D Dinakaran and Justice R Regupathy directed the Registry to place the papers before the Chief Justice for further action in the matter.
"We feel that the lethargic attitude of the Sessions Judge in ignoring the cry of the detainee, the submission of Public Prosecutor and the letter of the Superintendent of Police, Central Prison, Vellore stating that the detainee had completed the five year term, amounted to exercise of his judicial power negligently and recklessly," the Bench said.
"We find it was a fit case to initiate disciplinary action against the erred officer," they said.
One Thulasi was arrested by Mylapore police on May 23, 1992 in an attempt to murder case. The II Additional Sessions judge awarded five years imprisonment in 1997. Thulasi moved an appeal and it was dismissed by the High Court on December 19, 2005. Though Thulasi was released on bail for some time, he had meanwhile completed five years in prison.
Following the High Court order, the Sessions judge issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) to re-arrest him, overlooking the fact that the man had already undergone five years imprisonment. Thulasi was rearrested and taken to a Central Prison on December 26, 2006, by executing the NBW.
When Thulasi was re-arrested despite serving the sentence of five years of imprisonment, his wife had moved a habeas corpus petition (HCP) before the High Court. She had also sought a compensation of Rs 5 lakh. The High Court had on April 21, 2007 allowed the HCP and directed the release of the detainee while awarding a compensation of Rs 5,000, to be paid to him by the state government.
Challenging the imposition of Rs 5,000 as compensation, the State preferred the present appeal contending that the state was not at all responsible for his "illegal" detention.
In its present order, the Bench recalled the direction to the state government to pay Rs 5,000 as compensation.
The Bench said since the wife of detainee had also demanded a compensation of Rs 5 lakh in her HCP, she was at liberty to move this Court by way of appropriate application in the HCP without resorting for a separate legal action after impleading the officer concerned. The compensation to be awarded, if any, shall be subject to the result in the enquiry ordered to be initiated against the sessions judge, the bench said. (Agencies)