CHENNAI: The Madras High Court today quashed the detention of activist Thirumurugan Gandhi and three others of a pro-Tamil outfit under the Goondas Act for allegedly staging a protest in support of Sri Lankan Tamils at the Marina Beach here without permission.
Delivering its order on the habeas corpus petitions filed by the four belonging to 'May 17 Movement', a division bench comprising Justices A Selvam and Pon Kalaiyarasan held that there was a delay in disposal of their representations against their detention by the authorities concerned.
"Such delay in disposal of the representations affects the right of the detenu guaranteed under Article 22 (5) of the Constitution. Therefore, on this ground alone, this court is of the considered view that the detention order is liable to be quashed," the judges said.
Gandhi and the three others - Dyson, Arun Kumar and Jagan alias Illamaran - were arrested on May 21 for allegedly staging a protest despite police banning any agitations.
They were later detained under the stringent Goondas Act on May 28 following orders from the police commissioner.
According to a report by the police, the four along with other supporters wrongfully assembled at the beach and raised slogans in support of Sri Lankan Tamils and also the banned LTTE.
They had also caused disturbance to traffic, police said.
The report had also alleged that Thirumurugan had asked members of his outfit to damage police vehicle and buses and had argued with police personnel.
A case had been registered under various IPC Sections of and Tamil Nadu Public Property (Prevention of Damage and Loss) Act.