CHENNAI: Observing that deprivation of personal liberty can be resorted to only by following the procedure established by law, Madras High Court has quashed a ganja case foisted against a professor of an engineering college in Vellore. Justice S Nagamuthu, who set aside the criminal proceedings against TV Velliangiri, also directed the TN government to pay compensation of `1 lakh to the professor for illegally detaining him for 15 days.
The case relates to the arrest of a professor, working in a college run by one PMM Nandagopal in Vellore, who was detained in illegal custody for several days and thereafter implicated in a ganja case and detained for about 15 days. Based on a report by the court-appointed SP which said the case was foisted, the judge quashed the case and ordered compensation.
Further, the judge cautioned that no member of the State police force should forget the fact that any misconduct on his part may cause irreparable loss to the image of the entire force. Personal liberty is sacrosanct for every citizen of this country and the same is a basic human right. The Constitution guarantees the said fundamental right to every citizen of this country. Deprivation of personal liberty can be resorted to only by following the procedure established by law. But, in this case the professor has been deprived of his personal liberty in complete breach of the procedure. False implication of a person like the petitioner in a case of ganja would have surely put his reputation also in peril, the judge observed.
According to the petitioners, the professor and his wife, Nandagopal, who was running the educational institutions, died leaving behind three sons. A dispute arose between the brothers in respect of the administration of the institutions. Sarvana Sundar, one of the sons, was murdered on June 26 this year. During investigation, it turned out that Mohana Krishnan, another son of Nandagopal and six others were involved in the crime. Inspector I Gopala Krishnan, took efforts to apprehend Mohana Krishnan. Suspecting that the professor was aware of the whereabouts of Mohana Krishnan, the Inspector allegedly planted ganja in the professor’s car and arrested him.
When the case came up for hearing on November 13, Justice Nagamuthu directed Coimbatore SP, M Sudhakar, to probe the case and file a report. Accordingly, on December 22, the SP filed a report stating that the ganja case was a false one and that the professor was kept in illegal custody by the Inspector from September 7 to 11. Based on his report, the judge quashed the FIR.