Sunday, June 4, 2023

Kerala High Court quashes proceedings against Kerala Transport Minister Antony Raju in evidence tampering case

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Kerala Transport Minister Antony Raju’s problems may not be over even after the Kerala High Court has quashed proceedings in an underwear evidence tampering case against him. 

The reason for the same is that although the High Court may have quashed the proceedings before the trial court only on technical grounds, it has left it open to the court or any competent authority to initiate action and pursue prosecution against Raju for falsifying evidence.

The Court has on the contrary asked in fact one went one step further and directed the High Court’s registry itself to initiate proceedings.

The concluding sentence of the order called for expedient action especially in light of the fact that the offences were allegedly committed over three decades ago.

The order said that the registry of this court is directed to take appropriate action in this regard under the relevant provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) as referred above, without any delay by taking note of the fact that the offences were allegedly committed in the year 1990, and any further delay in the matter would defeat the entire purpose.

The case originated 33 years ago, in April 1990, when an Australian man, Andrew Salvatore Cervelli, was arrested at the Thiruvananthapuram airport for allegedly smuggling 61.5 grams of charas by concealing it in his underwear. 

At the time, Antony Raju had not yet made his foray into serious politics but was a young lawyer practicing before courts in Kerala.

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