Another TN Minister's tryst with court

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Chennai, Jul 31 (UNI) After Tamil Nadu Tourism Minister N Suresh Rajan, facing a criminal case, and Handlooms Minister N K K P Raja, who was caught in an abduction case, it was the turn of Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S Arumugham to receive a notice from the Madras High Court for allegedly playing a role in the eviction of slum dwellers and demolishing the Collectorate in Salem.

The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifullah, ordered issuance of notice to the Minister on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by S Manoharan, All India General Secretary of the Indian Association of People's Lawyers (IAPL).

The petitioner, who obtained favourable orders from the court against the eviction of 31 slum dwellers and demolition of the century-old Collectorate, had filed the present petition, stating that the court orders have not been complied with by the district administration and the police.

He submitted that against the court orders, the slum dwellers were evicted and the Collectorate building was demolished. Mr Arumugham, considered a strong man of the ruling DMK in Salem, was instrumental in the eviction and demolition as he had huge stakes in them, he alleged.

The Bench also ordered issue of notice to State Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, Director General of Police, Salem District Collector, Salem DIG and Salem city Commissioner of Police, and posted the matter after four weeks for further hearing.

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