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Written statements taken from 119 MLAs, Tamil Nadu Public Prosecutor informs High Court

Monday, Feb 13, 2017,19:01 IST By anju A A A

Chennai | Amid allegations that MLAs supporting V K Sasikala were being kept in illegal detention, the Madras High Court was today informed that 119 MLAs have given in writing they were staying on their “own volition”.

A team, comprising one ADSP, four inspectors, as many sub-inspectors and two tehsildars, had gone to the resort on February 11 and given a questionnaire to 119 MLAs, Public Prosecutor Rajarathinam said.

They filled up the questionnaire stating they were staying in the resort “on their own volition”, the PP said.

When Sasikala met reporters yesterday, the MLAs were also present and they would have informed the media, if they were in illegal custody, he said.

The PP was making his submissions during arguments on two habeas corpus pleas relating to alleged illegal detention of two MLAs- T Ramachandran and Geetha- at the resort where legislators supporting AIADMK general secretary Sasikala are housed.

Sasikala had yesterday claimed the support of 129 MLAs. In the 234 state assembly, AIADMK has 134 members.

A division bench of justices M Jaichandren and T Mathivanan, before which the pleas came up, reserved orders.

Producing the statement from the two MLAs recorded in the presence of the tehsildars, Rajarathinam submitted that they had given statement that they were free and safe and on their own volition they were staying at the resort.

After hearing arguments of Rajarathinam and K Balu, counsel for Ramachandran, the bench reserved orders on the HCPs seeking to trace and set at liberty Ramachandran and Geetha.

During arguments, the PP submitted in the court the statements of the two MLAs in their own handwriting, stating that they have not been illegally detained.

Balu submitted that the only legal remedy in HCP is that the person, who is illegally detained, has to be ordered to be produced in person before the court and mere statements cannot be taken into account by the court.

Raising objections, the PP said it was only on the counsel’s suggestion the Superintendent of Police at Kancheepuram had set up a team, comprising police and other officials, to inspect the resort and record their statements.

The PP submitted that statements of not only the two MLAs but also those of another 119 MLAs were also recorded. The team had presented a questionnaire to the MLAs and requested them to fill it on their own.

“We have also those statements but as the HCPs is confined to only these two MLAs, I am submitting their statements. We are ready to submit the other statements, if the court directs,” he said.

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