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Southern States - Tamil Nadu

'Nakkeeran' Gopal moves SC to quash summons

By Our Legal Correspondent

NEW DELHI June 5. The editor of the Tamil bi-weekly, Nakkeeran, R.R. Gopal, has moved the Supreme Court for a direction to quash the summons dated May 28 issued to him by the Special Investigation Cell, Tamil Nadu, for interrogation in connection with the kidnap of the Kannada matinee idol Rajkumar by the forest brigand Veerappan. The petition, which also seeks a direction to restrain the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu Governments from proceeding with the investigation of the case against him and his staff or reporters, is likely to come up for hearing before a vacation Bench on June 17.

In his writ petition, Mr. Gopal submitted that after Rajkumar was kidnapped in July 2000, both the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu Governments requested him to act as their official emissary for securing the release of the actor. Both the Governments had promised him in writing that he and his team members would not be called upon to adduce evidence in any future criminal cases connected with the abduction. They had also promised not to proceed against Mr. Gopal and his associates. And only thereafter he agreed to be the emissary.

However, Mr. Gopal submitted that contrary to this assurance and promise, the Tamil Nadu Government and its Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, had falsely implicated him in the kidnap case and he had been granted anticipatory bail by the Madras High Court. A reporter of the magazine, Sivasubramaniam, who had also been implicated was arrested in November last and since then he has been languishing in prison on various charges.

He said that on May 28 the special investigation cell issued summons directing him to appear within 10 days for interrogation at the Thalavadi police station for 15 days.

Mr. Gopal alleged that the respondents had hatched a conspiracy to somehow implicate him in an imaginary offence and were adopting unfair means and were now attempting to arrest him once he appeared for interrogation.

He said he apprehended imminent danger to his life.. Hence the present petition.

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