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'What Prompted Arrest On Public Holiday On 1.5 Year Old Complaint?': Madras HC Asks In Former ABVP Chief's Bail Plea

Sebin James
21 March 2022 4:06 PM GMT
What Prompted Arrest On Public Holiday On 1.5 Year Old Complaint?: Madras HC Asks In Former ABVP Chiefs Bail Plea
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The Madras High Court has granted interim bail to former ABVP National Chief Dr Subbiah Shanmugam on the ground that the arrest of the petitioner was patently erroneous, leading to the violation of his fundamental rights.While granting the interim relief, Justice G. Jayachandran noted that the patent error in the arrest has been made with 'an ulterior motive to take departmental action and...

The Madras High Court has granted interim bail to former ABVP National Chief Dr Subbiah Shanmugam on the ground that the arrest of the petitioner was patently erroneous, leading to the violation of his fundamental rights.

While granting the interim relief, Justice G. Jayachandran noted that the patent error in the arrest has been made with 'an ulterior motive to take departmental action and place him under suspension'.

The former National President of ABVP is also the Surgical Oncologist serving at Stanly Government Medical College Hospital. Relying on Joginder Kumar v. State of Uttar Pradesh (1994) 4 SCC 260, the bench noted in the order as follows:

"...It is further added that since the arrest itself apparently and erroneously made, the arrest will not give any ground for taking departmental action against this petitioner. Therefore, this Court grant Interim Bail to the petitioner herein. He should be released on executing bond for Rs.25,000/-(Rupees twenty five thousand only) to the satisfaction of the Superintendent of Prison, Chengalpet", the court noted in the order while specifying the bail condition.

The court has posted the matter on 24th March, noting that the court is eager to know as to what prompted Investigating Officer to arrest a person on a public holiday based on the complaint given one and a half years ago.

"Hearing the submissions, this Court is reminded of the observation made by the Central Information Commission in an appeal, where it is stated that the individuals are arrested during night of Friday, so that they will not be in a position to move the Court of law till Monday. Such detention would be absolutely violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India and it could be both a crime and tort(civil wrong) also."

"... this Court is also eager to know what prompted the Investigating Officer to arrest a person on a public holiday based on the complaint given 1½ years ago, the matter may be listed on 24.03.2022", an excerpt from the order reads..

Background & Arguments Raised

Dr Subbiah was arrested on 19th March in relation to an incident in 2020 for which he was booked under Sections 271, 427, 447 of IPC and Section 3 of the Tamil Nadu Public Property (Prevention of Damaged and loss) Act, 1992 r/w Section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act, 1998.

According to The Indian Express, he was arrested for allegedly harassing a 62-year-old widow living alone in her apartment in Chennai city suburbs.

The major allegation against the former chief of the student organisation is that he, due to enmity, has thrown the used mask inside the gate and urinated in front of the residence of the widow.

Before the court, the petitioner moved an urgent motion for bail today, without approaching the trial court since there were allegedly gross violations of his rights and abuse of power by police.

The petitioner primarily argued that he was arrested on Saturday even though the dispute between the de facto complainant and the petitioner was compromised a long time ago. The petitioner alleged that there has been abuse of power by the police and those in top positions since the petitioner is associated with the specific student organisation. The petitioner submitted that he was arrested on a public holiday to invoke the conduct rules and deliberately place him under suspension since 48 hours would have elapsed since his arrest and detention.

Case Title: Dr.Subbiah Shanmugam v. The State Represented by Inspector of Police

Case No: Crl.O.P.No.6648 of 2022

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