Madurai,Jan 12 (PTI): A lower court today refused to recallthe Non Bailable Warrant against AIADMK Treasurer and formerChief Minister O Pannerselvam and 18 other partymen, includingtwo former ministers, in a case pertaining to alleged damageof public property during an assembly by-election campaign.
Meanwhile, in another development, the Madras High Courtbench posted their anticipatory bail application hearing toJanuary 18.
The Judicial Magistrate of Tirumangalam, Nagaraj had on Jan7 issued the NBW against Panneerselvam, former ministers K ASengottaiyan, ''Pollachi'' Jayaraman and 17 others for allegedlydamaging vehicles and public property during campaigning in2008 for the Tirumangalam Assembly by-election in 2009.
Though the JM refused to recall the NBW earlier today, theHigh Court was not informed of the order. Hence, Justice C TSelvam said he would take up the case on January 18 as it waspending before the Magistrate.
Police had filed cases against the accused on Dec 12 2008 oncharges including rioting, rioting with arms,attempt to murderand preventing public servants from discharging their duty.
The Assistant Public Prosecutor,who opposed recall of theNBW,said the accused had deliberately disobeyed the summons asthey "knew very well" that chargesheet was being filed againstthem. As they had been named as absconding persons, the arrestwarrant should not be cancelled, he argued.
Police on Jan 7 said the accused had been named asabsconding and filed a chargesheet against them as they hadnot obtained anticipatory bail.
Accepting the argument of the Assistant Public Prosecutor,the JM refused to recall the warrant.He also refused the pleaof Panneerselvam and others to convert it into a summons.
"We have been implicated owing to political enmity.
Besides Panneerselvam, Jayaraman and Sengottaiyan are MLAs andthe assembly session was going on. Hence they could not come,"argued counsel for the petitioners.
The former AIADMK ministers and other petitioners said theyhad gone to Eliyarpathi village to meet party speakerRamarajan, whose car was ''attacked'' by rivals. However, laterdevelopments saw a case being registered against them and 62others on the charge of pelting stones at police vehicles,they said.
AIADMK MLA R Samy and 51 others were arrested in connectionwith the case and later released on bail.