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Scribe moves Madras HC, seeks quashing of FIR over video linking Palaniswami to Kodanad estate case

Scribe moves Madras HC, seeks quashing of FIR over video linking Palaniswami to Kodanad estate case

Chennai, Jan 24 (PTI) A New Delhi-based journalist on Thursday moved the Madras High Court seeking quashing of an FIR registered against him and six others over a video clip related to the Kodanad estate break-in case.On January 11, Mathew Samuel, former Tehelka managing editor, released a 16-minute video in which two accused persons in the case, K V Sayan and Valayar Manoj, allegedly linked Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palaniswami to the case.A day after the high court restrained him and others from making any statements linking Palaniswami to case, Samuel filed a petition seeking quashing of an FIR registered by the city Crime Branch police on January 11.According to the petitioner, he and others had been accused of offences under section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), among others, of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in connection with the video.He contended that neither the press conference conducted by him on January 11 nor the documentary (video) published by him contained any statement made on the grounds of religion, race or place of birth to constitute an offence under section 153.The documentary relates to only Palaniswami and no person in the video makes any statement or act prompting enmity among two groups, he submitted.Mathew also wanted the court to stay further proceedings of the FIR till the final disposal of his petition.Justice K Kalyanasundaram of the court had on Wednesday issued the exparte interim injunction restraining Samuel, his four-Delhi based associates and Sayan and Manoj from making any statement against Palaniswami.The order was given on a defamation suit filed by Palaniswami seeking Rs 1.10 crore as damages from the defendants.On April 23, 2017, the security guard of the Kodanad estate, the late chief minister J Jayalalithaa's retreat home in the hilly district of the Nilgiris, was murdered in a robbery attempt by a 10-member gang.It emerged during the probe that Jayalalithaa's former driver C Kanagaraj and Sayan had allegedly plotted the crime. A total of 10 people have been arrested in the case and a charge sheet has also been filed.Later, Kanagaraj and Sayan's wife and daughter were killed in separate road accidents during the probe, even as another employee of the property was found dead, in a case of suspected suicide. PTI CORR VS DIVDIV