Chennai, August 19: With the DMK Government in Tamil Nadu conducting "further probe" in the 2017 heist-cum-murder at former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's sprawling Kodanad Estate bungalow in Ooty, the AIADMK on Thursday rushed to Governor Banwarilal Purohit claiming it was a move to target its leader Edappadi K Palaniswami.
In 2017, shortly after the daring crime, one of the accused had died in a road accident in Tamil Nadu. Close on its heels, the vehicle of another accused was involved in an accident in which he was injured but his wife and child died. Later, a Delhi-based journalist had released a video in which some of the accused in the case claimed the heist was carried out on the instructions of Palaniswami, the then Chief Minister.
Recently, the Nilgiris police summoned and questioned an accused Sayan for "further investigation". On Wednesday the AIADMK MLAs led by Palaniswami walked out of the Legislative Assembly over the issue. Chief Minister M K Stalin insisted that the probe was being undertaken only with the court's permission and there was nothing to fear for those who had nothing to hide.
However on Thursday, Palaniswami along with party coordinator O Panneerselvam and senior leaders knocked on the doors of the Raj Bhavan and submitted a petition to the Governor accusing the DMK Government of indulging in "Corruption, Collection and Vendetta."
"The handling of the Kodanadu murder case is a classic example for the failure on the part of the DMK government. The police had apprehended all the accused connected to the matter and the accused were in prison. The investigation was completed and the Charge Sheet was also filed in the matter and the case was progressing with directions of speedy trial by the High Court," the AIADMK said.
The accused in the case who had initially got a bail were again imprisoned after the High Court cancelled their bail. The bail was cancelled because they had at that point of time given an interview, making false allegations which the Court held as them trying to influence the conduct of trial. "When the same accused had applied bail, he was represented by an Advocate who is presently the MP representing DMK. The sureties for the bail bonds were given by persons belonging to DMK. This by itself goes to show the reason for such change of colour by the prosecution after the change of Government. This also shows as to who is really behind the entire issue," the petition said.
The memorandum added that at a time when the trial is almost completed, after the change of Government the accused has got bail and the state is seeking to do further investigation instead of completing the trial in the case. It is pertinent to mention that the Supreme Court had also dismissed the request for further investigation in the past.
However, after the change of the Government, the prosecution which was all along keen on speedy disposal of the trial has summoned the accused who was out on bail and is seeking to do further investigation.
"The present drama of further investigation which has been sought for collusively by the prosecution and the accused is only to make allegations against the Leader of Opposition. The fate of a common citizen in the hands of the present Government is completely jeopardised if a Leader of Opposition [Palaniswami] is being targeted in such a manner," the party complained.
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