Madras High Court Justice CT Selvam admitted the Criminal Original Petition of former Chief Minister and DMK chief M Karunanidhi seeking exemption from appearing before Tiruvarur Judicial Magistrate Court. The court had summoned him with a complaint relating to ‘false information’ declared on the value of some of his properties in the nomination papers filed during the State Assembly elections in 2011.
Admitting the petition here on Tuesday, Justice Selvam ordered an interim stay and posted the matter for further hearing on Feb 25.
Karunanidhi, in his petition, stated that he was being accused of failure to furnish particulars of certain properties when he filed his nomination and the affidavit as per Form 26 to Tiruvarur Assembly constituency on March 24, 2011. He was also alleged to have committed an offence under section 125A of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951 read with section of 177 of IPC.
Karunanidhi alleged the case itself to be of a vindictive action by the government to harass him. Citing that the failure or suppression on disclosure of assets did not lead to rejection of nomination, the petition also noted the procedure was adopted only to apprise the voter of the information about the candidate.
The petition also said the RDO who was designated as the Returning Officer, has no locus standi to file the complaint since Karunanidhi was declared elected on May 13 and the RDO is no longer the Returning Officer. Karunanidhi submitted the complaint is contrary to the directions by the EC vide its circular dated March 27, 2003 and against a judgement by the SC. Further, the petition pointed out the summons did not have the copy of the complaint. When contacted, the Court officials said the copy will be made available to the petitioner while appearing before the Court.