Traffic Ramaswamy Moves SC For CBI Probe Into CM Palaniswami's Involvement In Kodanad Estate Break-in And Murder
Social activist KR Ramaswamy, popularly known as Traffic Ramaswamy, has moved the Supreme Court seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the Kodanad estate case that has put Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami under the scanner.
In April 2017, the security guard of the Kodanad estate, Jayalalithaa's retreat home in the hilly district of the Nilgiris, was found dead. It emerged during the probe that Jayalalithaa's former driver C Kanagaraj and KV Sayan had allegedly plotted the crime. A total of ten people had been arrested in the case, with a charge sheet also being filed.
A 16-minute video was then released by former Tehelka editor Samuel Mathew on January 11, claiming that the break-in and murder was linked to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. Based on interviews with those involved in the crime, the journalist had alleged that the crime was ordered by the Chief Minister to retrieve important documents from the estate.
Mr. Ramaswamy now contends that the investigation into these allegations should be transferred to the CBI, in view of the alleged involvement of the Chief Minister. Pointing out that the State police might not be in a position to conduct a fair investigation, it asserts,
"The robbery and continuous murder of farmer chief minister Tamil Nadu late Ms. J. Jayalalitha's driver and home guard etc. etc. is not an ordinary murder case, it is rarest of rare one, politically motivated, may also link with the suspicious death of farmer Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha and is very serious in nature. The persons who involved in this murder case are not an ordinary person but they are very highly influential persons. The state police are ineffective to do free and fair investigation against the highly influential."
Filed through Advocate GS Mani, the petition contends that the investigating agency of the state police is in "total control" of the present CM and that hence, an impartial and independent investigation in the case is "doubtful".
The petitioner finally contends that the "fundamental rights of free and fair investigation of crime against society guaranteed under Article 19 & 21 of the Constitution of every citizen is likely to be caused and affected if in case the relief sought in the present writ petition is not granted".
It then demands calling of records pertaining to the case from the State police and handing them over to the CBI for an investigation into the case, including an independent probe into the involvement of the CM.