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Newspaper office attack case: HC warns CBI against further delay

Newspaper office attack case: HC warns CBI against further delay

Madurai, Feb 19 (PTI) Taking a serious view of long pendency of a plea against acquittal of all 17 accused in the 2007 'Dinakaran' newspaper office attack case, the Madras High Court Tuesday came down on the CBI for seeking adjournments.A bench of justices P N Prakash and B Pugalendhi warned it would decide the matter on the basis of documents if the CBI further delayed the hearing.It criticised the CBI for not taking serious steps in the last eight years to proceed with the revision petition against the acquittal of the accused in the case related to setting afire the office of the daily here in which three employees died on May 9, 2007.The judges, who sought details from the court registry on long pending cases, found that the revision petition was pending and proceedings were affected as the accused did not get an advocate.The bench appointed lawyer N Anandha Padmanabhan to represent the accused and posted the matter to February 26.Of the 17 convicts acquitted by the district and sessions court here in December 2009, 11 had been arrested after the bench issued non-bailable warrants as they failed to appear for hearing of the appeal.Another convict, Dayamuthu, is absconding and stated to be staying somewhere in Malaysia, while the others have obtained bail and are attending the court proceedings.During the hearing Tuesday, the CBI advocate submitted that it wanted to engage a lawyer who knows Tamil.But the judges said the case could not be adjourned as there was no provision in the CrPC to postpone a case for engaging a skilful lawyer.If the CBI wanted to delay the case for this reason, the court would proceed based on the documents and come to a conclusion, the bench warned, and said advocates of both sides should present their final arguments on February 26.Three employees of the daily were killed in the attack on the office following the publication of a survey which gave an edge to the then deputy chief minister and DMK president late M Karunanidhi's son M K Stalin over his brother and then Union minister M K Alagiri to succeed their father.The CBI, after a long delay of over four years, had filed the revision petition in 2014. PTI SSN VS IJT