CHENNAI: Douglas Devananda, a former Sri Lankan Minister and the third accused in a shoot-out and murder case in Choolaimedu in 1986, has moved the IV Additional Sessions Court in the City to delete the IPC charges, including 302 (murder), against him.
When the case came up before IV Additional Sessions Judge M Shanthi on Saturday, Devananda filed a petition to delete the charges for offences under Sections 148, 149 and 302 of the IPC. At best the court can proceed only for offences under the provisions of the Indian Arms and Explosive Substances Act, that too only if the charges are made out, he said.
As per the case of the prosecution, he was not a member of the unlawful assembly and that he was not at all present at the alleged scene of occurrence at Thiruvalluvarpuram in Choolaimedu on November 1,1986. He was arrested from the terrace of the adjacent house. The arms were seized only from the house, where the other accused were residing, he said. A perusal of the statement recorded under Sec. 161 CrPC and the records produced by the prosecution showed that the petitioner was not involved in any unlawful assembly or he was present at the alleged place of occurrence where the murder took place.
Now, the case is posted for taking the evidence and if any evidence is made out, it may be only under the Arms Act, he added and prayed the court to go through the entire records and delete the charges under the three IPC sections.
The prosecution, in its counter, submitted that the petition was premature as the case was at the trial stage. It will be possible for the court to examine whether the charges are supported by the evidence or not, only after completion of taking the evidence. In fact, it will be proper for the petitioner and the court to wait till the taking of the evidence is completed and then see whether the evidence substantiated the charges. The petition is an abuse of the process, aimed at derailing the prosecution case. It will impair the trial to its disadvantage, the prosecution said.