CHENNAI: The deputy tahsildars, who have been named in the First Information Report for giving orders to fire at anti-Sterlite protesters in Thoothukudi, have the powers of executive magistrate if they are notified by the government under the Criminal Procedure Code, according to former judge of the Madras High Court K Chandru. Chandru told Express that power can be delegated from the Collector to Revenue Divisional Officer to tahsildar to zonal deputy tahsildar. “For all this, a GO is required,” said the judge who had been witness to various incidents during his tenure as a judge.
He said all this cooking-up of events had happened after the incident. “As soon as the agitation started, they would have issued a notification diversifying the power of executive magistrate,” he said, adding that firing order given by the magistrate is a joke.“How would they have got statement from him? They will not go before the commission and they even won’t have problem in deposing falsely,” alleged Chandru.
“In every police firing, this is what happens. I have been seeing it from 1971. They will come and depose that they only gave the orders. I myself am an eyewitness to Annamalai University lathi-charge. The police never gave such a warning. But before the commission they would depose that they gave warning and fired in the air. In the end, the Commission will justify the firing and say all rules have been followed. It is like a cat-and-mouse game,” he said.