High Cour upholds life for 15 in Balan murder case

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Chennai, Oct 6 (UNI) Madras High Court today upheld a lower court order, convicting and sentencing 15 people to life in the sensational former AIADMK MLA M K Balan murder case.

Upholding the verdict given by a Fast Track Court on April 19, 2004, A Division Bench comprising Mr Justice Murugesan and Mr K N Batcha, however, acquitted one of the 16 convicted by the lower court.

The court also dismissed a petition filed by Mr Balan's son Manimaran demanding a CBI probe into the incident.

Mr Balan, who was elected on AIADMK ticket from Saidapet Assembly constituency in 1991 elections, had left the party and joined the DMK in Decemebr 2001.

Balan, went for a walk on the morning of December 30, 2001 and did not return home. His son had lodged a complaint with the police and also filed a Habeas Corpus petition in the Madras High Court.

Initially, police had booked a man missing case. The CB-CID police, which took up the investigation later found that Mr Balan was abducted and killed and the body was cremated in a burial ground.

The Fast Track Court had on April 19, 2004 convicted and sentenced 16 of the 18 accused in the case to Life imprisonment and acquitted two others.

One of the main accused, ''Poonga Nagar'' Manickam and 11 others, had challenged the verdict and filed an appeal in the Madras High Court in May 2004 seeking suspension of the sentence and release on bail.

After hearing elaborate arguments, the Bench today upheld the lower court order in respect of 15 accused, while acquitting one.

UNI

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