CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Friday dismissed a plea moved by VKT Balan, one of the accused in the Anton Balasingham assassination attempt case in 1985. Balan had sought quashing the trial since the court proceedings had been pending for more than a decade.
The issue pertains to the murder attempt made on Balasingham, who was the spokesperson of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and a close confidante of Eelam’s late leader Prabakaran, at his residence near Elliot’s Beach in Chennai. The CB-CID that took up the investigation had arrested Kandasamy, VKT Balan, Ranjan, Manavai Thambi, Radhakrishnan and Pavani in 1986.
Based on the confession statements of the accused, the CB-CID seized various items, including gelatin sticks, and came to a conclusion that it was indeed this group that planned the assassination, which Balasingham survived.
K Elangovan, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that except for Balan, all other accused and Balasingham himself have died, and that important documents relating to the case have still not been retrieved. P Kritika Kamal, appearing for the State, submitted that there were several other witnesses who are alive, and that the prosecution cannot be quashed even if the accused was dead.
Dismissing the plea, Justice PN Prakash observed, “In the circumstances of the present case, the prosecution cannot be quashed on the ground of delay. The loss of records also cannot be a good reason to quash a prosecution and that secondary evidence can be adduced in a case, where a document has been lost.”The court also directed the XI Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Saidapet to complete the proceedings within three months.