MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Tuesday pulled up the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) charging that it failed to take proper steps over getting the warrants issued to arrest the ‘hiding’ accused in the Dinakaran newspaper office attack case.
When most of the 17 accused were seemingly resorting to tactics to prolong the appeal filed by the CBI against the judgment of the Madurai district Principal District and Sessions Court acquitting all of them, the latter should have insisted the court earlier to issue non-bailable warrants against them, the court said.
Stating that it should have filed a separate petition in the court to fasten the trial in the case pending for the last five years, the division bench comprising justices P R Shivakumar and V S Ravi wondered why the agency has been showing hesitance.
But defending the agency, Public Prosecutor told the court that it has always been insisting to conduct arguments and its intention could be seen from the earlier prayer that the court should pass an order to appoint legal-aid counsels for the accused when their counsels withdrew.
Justice Shivakumar questioned the HC’s appointment of free legal-aid counsels to the accused charged with heinous crime of setting fire to the Dinakaran office in Madurai that left three dead. “They do not deserve charity at the expense of the government,” he said.
The bench came down heavily on the CBI, especially after the prime accused V P Pandi alias ‘Attack’ Pandi claimed in his recent submission that he was not aware of the CBI’s appeal petition pending in the court for the last five years.