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No relief for DMK chief in New Secretariat case
“Everybody prays for everybody’s well-being. We respect everyone, but the court should continue performing its duties,” observed the MHC when counsels appearing for DMK prez M Karunanidhi, sought time to get instructions over the stay obtained by him against Justice R Reguhpathi Commission-formed to investigate the alleged irregularities in the construction of New Secretariat building at Omandurar
Justice SM Subramaniam while making the above observation on Thursday also made it clear that no further time will be granted to argue on the miscellaneous petition moved by the Government seeking to vacate the interim stay in vogue for the past three years.
Refusing to appreciate the memo moved by Karunanidhi’s counsel R Neelakandan, the judge who had come down heavily on taxpayers money being wasted in maintaining these commissions, said, “The Supreme Court in various instances have strongly ruled against ‘forum hunting’,” and noted that the final hearing of case would be taken up on August 3 even if the petitioner’s counsel is unwilling to argue the case.
The memo, on stressing that the allegations made in the Government’s counter ought to be refuted by the petitioner, who is not in a position to give instructions now as he is hospitalised, said, “While the petitioner, a former Chief Minister aged 95 years and also a senior leader, is under round the clock monitored by the doctors, in critical care unit; the petitioner’s counsel does not want to disturb him and hence, adequate time is required to file the petitioner’s reply affidavit.”
“In the absence of petitioner’s reply affidavit to the counter affidavits of the respective respondents, the consent for final hearing of the above Writ Petition could not be given by the petitioner’s counsel, before the Judge who is allotted with Miscellaneous Portfolio,” the memo added.
However, Justice Subramaniam on recording the petitioner’s contention that this court does not have jurisdiction to hear the main writ petitions as its portfolio confines to miscellaneous petitions, said, “I can very well decide on the miscellaneous petition moved by the State.”
It may be recalled that during the earlier hearing, the Judge on finding fault with the Government for spending crores of public money on the defunct commission formed since 2015, had told the petitioner, “You have already enjoyed the interim stay against the commission for over three years. Huge public money is being spent on the commission. Therefore, this court has to take care of the public issue involved.”