HC quashes case against IT officials

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Chennai, Sep 23 (UNI) Madras High Court today quashed a criminal case against four Income Tax officials, pending before a trial court for the past 21 years.

Allowing a petition filed by retired IT Officer T Balasubramaniam, and V Manoharan, K Ettappan, and G Pari, presently working with the IT Department of Chennai, Mr Justice K N Basha ruled that the delay of more than two decades was nothing but infringement of the fundamental rights of the petitioners, who were arraigned as accused.

''It is also pertinent to note that the petitioners had suffered untold hardships because of the criminal case hanging on to their neck all these years and their mental agony and torture cannot be explained in words,'' the Judge observed.

''The court is also constrained to state that from the materials available on record, the court is not able to come to the conclusion that the petitioners are in any manner responsible for the delay in the conduct of the trial. The court is also equally unable to come to the conclusion that the prosecution is in any way responsible for the delay,'' Jusitice Basha said and quashed the case pending before the Xth Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Egmore.

The petitioners submitted that they were arraigned as A1 to A4 and implicated in a cheating case and booked under Sections 120 (b) read with 420 and 420 of IPC. The CBI filed a chargesheet against them in 1987 in Xth Matropolitan Magistrate Court Egmore, Chennai.

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