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Kodanad murder: HC refuses to reject CM’s suit against journalist
The Madras High Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea moved by Delhi based journalist Mathew Samuel seeking to reject a civil suit filed by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami in connection with a video released by him linking the latter with a heist-cum-murder that happened at former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s estate at Kodanadu in 2017.
Justice P T Asha who dismissed the plea directed Mathew Samuel and six others named in the case to file their reply on the civil suit filed by the Chief Minister before posting it to September 23 for further hearing.
Palaniswami had moved the civil suit against Samuel, his three team members and the two accused in the robbery case, Sayan and Manoj, seeking Rs.1.10 Crore as damages for allegedly linking him to the break-in at the Kodanad Estate.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had submitted that Samuel had made the statements alleging his involvement in the robbery and murders without any material evidence. Claiming that the untrue allegations had defamed his reputation as the Chief Minister, he sought for monetary damages.
It may be noted that the Madras high court last year had stayed the criminal proceedings against Samuel and six others on the issue.
The Central Crime Branch (CCB) had registered a FIR against them for offences under various IPS sections relating to promoting enmity between different groups, issuing statements conducive to public mischief and criminal conspiracy.
Unidentified men had killed a security guard during the robbery attempt at the Kodanadu estate four months after Jayalalithaa’s death in December 2016. Two months later, an accountant working at the estate was found dead at his house in Kotagiri.