The Supreme Court today dismissed a petition seeking CBI probe into the alleged role of Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi Palaniswami in the robbery attempt at Kodanad estate of former CM Jayalalitha which took place during April 2017.
The petition was filed by "Traffic" Ramaswamy, who claimed to be public spirited citizen.
The bench of CJI Gogoi and Justice Khanna was not inclined to entertain the petition.
"Somebody makes a statement that CM has committed a crime. CM says he has not done it. He orders and enquiry. What's wrong in it", CJI Gogoi said.
Sensing that the bench was not willing to admit the petition, the counsel sought permission to withdraw the case.
However, the Court did not grant permission to withdraw it, saying "it will create further confusion".
The petition is based on the statements made by Mathew Samuel, a journalist who was formerly editor of Tehelka. On January 11, Mathew released a 16-minute video in which two accused persons in the robbery case - Sayan and Manoj- alleged that the TN CM Palaniswami was the mastermind behind the robbery attempt and subsequent killings.
It was on April 23, 2017 that 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.
Ramaswamy alleged in the petition that the Tamil Nadu police have registered cases against Samuel, Sayan and Manoj in an attempt to silence them. The state police is trying to destroy evidence in the case, he alleged.
"Since Palaniswami is the CM of the state, it is just and necessary for this Hon'ble Court to transfer or hand over the criminal case against him from Tamil Nadu police to CBI". stated the petition.
Palaniswami has moved a defamation suit in the Madras High Court against Mathew Samuel and his associates for the revelations. On Wednesday, the High Court passed an interim order, restraining Samuel and his associates from making further statements linking Palaniswami to the Kodanad estate robbery case.
(image sourced from here)