In a startling revelation, the government has admitted that former Home Secretary R Rajagopal had failed to act on a file relating to the sensational T Kiruttinan murder case, in which the State is all set to appeal against the acquittal of former Union Minister M K Alagiri and his associates.
Rajagopal was Home Secretary between January 27, 2012 and May 20, 2013. The Government Order issued by the incumbent, Niranjan Mardi, on August 5, on the government going for an appeal, contains strong remarks to this effect.
A DMK veteran from the south and former minister, Kiruttinan, a camp follower of M K Stalin, was murdered in May 2003, during the party organisational elections. Alagiri was the prime accused in the case, the trial of which was shifted to Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh.
However, Alagiri and 12 of his associates were acquitted in the case in May 2008 for lack of evidence.
Legal opinion then obtained was that an appeal could be filed only at the instance of the AP Government before the High Court of that State.
“Vinod Kumar Deshpande, Public Prosecutor, AP High Court, in August, 2012, opined that the acquittal of Alagiri was not a fit case for appeal. The opinion was forwarded sometime in August/September 2012 to the former Secretary to Home Department, who for reasons best known to him, did not act on the matter”, the GO said.
The Advocate General of TN on February 1, 2012, had nominated three Law Officers to assist the State in preferring an appeal and they have solicited further instructions to proceed in the matter.
“At this juncture, it was brought to the knowledge of the Home Secretary, that the file which was submitted to the former Secretary was missing. The file has now been painstakingly re-built,” the G O said. The report of the law officers that the State could prefer an appeal before the apex court irrespective of the opinion given by the AP Public Prosecutor was forwarded to the AG.
According to the AG, there are sufficient grounds for filing an appeal and the State could straight away file a special leave petition.
Considering the above facts, the State government has decided to go for an appeal before the SC.