CHENNAI: A division Bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday quashed an order dated May 18 last of the Chennai Police Commissioner detaining Anbazhagan, who claimed himself as a journalist, under the Goondas Act.
A bench of Justices A Selvam and P Kalaiarasan set aside the detention order while allowing a habeas corpus petition from A Krishnaveni, wife of Anbazhagan of Poonamallee near Chennai, challenging the detention.
Petitioner contended she had already sent two representations to the detaining authority i.e. police commissioner to revoke the detention. But her representations were not acted upon within the prescribed time frame by him. Therefore, the detention was liable to be quashed, she contended. The Bench noted that though the authorities had clear working days, no explanation was given for the delay in acting upon the representations.
The same would affect the rights of the detenu, guaranteed under Article 22(5) of the Constitution. Hence, the detention order is liable to be quashed, the judges said and accordingly set it aside. The bench also directed the authorities concerned to set free Anbazhagan, who is imprisoned at the central prison in Coimbatore, unless he is required in connection with some other case.
According to Tambaram police, the sponsoring authority, Anbazhagan was involved in about 20 cases registered under IPC and SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The registration of the case in question followed a complaint from one Rajendran in Tambaram alleging that Anbazhagan had unleashed threats using his position as a journalist.