Nation Politics 19 Feb 2019 SC refuses to stay s ...

SC refuses to stay sentence of former TN min

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | J. VENKATESAN
Published Feb 19, 2019, 1:37 am IST
Updated Feb 19, 2019, 1:37 am IST
The case pertains to a case of protest near Hosur in 1998 when members of the public agitated against spurious liquor being brewed in the region.
Supreme Court
 Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday while extending for four weeks the exemption granted to the former Tamil Nadu Minister P. Balakrishna Reddy from surrendering in a criminal case, refused to stay at this stage the three-year sentence awarded to him.

A Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Sanjiv Khanna while extending the order granting exemption from surrender issued notice to the TN  seeking its response in four weeks. The Bench after hearing senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi for the petitioner refused to suspend the operation of the sentence to enable him to contest elections.  

 

The case pertains to a case of protest near Hosur in 1998 when members of the public agitated against spurious liquor being brewed in the region. According to reports, 108 members were accused of throwing stones at government vehicles including police vans. There were allegations of arson against the protesters. Over 20 years later, 16 demonstrators were convicted in the case.

In his appeal Mr. Reddy contended that apart from the evidence provided by a single prosecution witness, there is nothing else to prove the charges against him and all the charges are attributed only against the first accused, Govinda Reddy. He also contended that he alone could not be blamed for the violence, as there were many onlookers when the incident happened. Moreover, mere participation in the protest could not make him guilty of the violence.

 

The special court in Chennai hearing cases against MPs and MLAs sentenced Mr. Reddy to three years with a fine of `10,000, paving the way for his disqualification as an MLA under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act.

His appeal against this conviction is pending in the Madras High Court which refused to stay the conviction. The present appeal is directed against this order.
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