November 3, 2018
The Madras High Court on Friday discharged advocate Murugan from a case booked against him by Q branch – Criminal Investigation Department (CID) last year on charges of being a member of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). The court held that there were no substantial material to implicate the advocate in the case but for a reported confession statement made by another accused. Justice M.V. Muralidaran pointed out that the confession only states that the advocate had handed over a portable DVD player, tape recorder, modem, some pamphlets and booklets of the banned organisation to the prime accused Srinivasan at Mattuthavani bus stand in Madurai on August 7, 2016. The further allegation against the petitioner was he provided financial aid to one ‘Nondi’ Mahalingam of the organisation.
“At this juncture, it is apposite to mention that the petitioner is a practising advocate and he was appearing for Maoists. Appearing for a Maoist is not a crime. On the other hand, if a Maoist accused of an offence seeks the professional assistance of a lawyer, it is his duty to defend. Therefore, as rightly submitted by the learned counsel for the petitioner, with an ulterior motive to prevent the petitioner from defending the innocent Maoists, he has been implicated in this case,” the judge concluded.