The Madras High Court has refused to quash criminal proceedings against a couple in a case of alleged land grabbing in Puducherry, observing that they were part of a gang which targeted rich French nationals to usurp their properties by forging documents.
Justice P N Prakash, dismissing petitions by the couple, directed a judicial magistrate court in Puducherry, a former French colony, to go ahead with the case, saying there was sufficient material against the two for framing charges.
"...the accused in this case are not simple people, but belong to a gang which identifies rich French nationals with huge properties in Puducherry and usurps them by creating fake documents," the judge pointed out in his order, citing arguments during the hearing.
The judge said if the accused do not co-operate, they can be remanded to custody. The case was filed on a complaint from Marie Jacques that her father Saint Jacques Antoine's properties across Puducherry was grabbed by using fake documents after he was killed in 2006.
Based on her complaint, the police registered a case against 16 people, including the couple -- K Elumalai and E Karpagam -- and filed a final report before the Judicial Magistrate-II, Puducherry. Justice Prakash also wondered how the quash petitions were allowed to be filed without impleading Marie Jacques, the original complainant, as respondent. The petitioners had only cited the police as the respondent.
"It is not known as to how the registry numbered the petitions when instructions have been given to the effect that the de facto complainant/victim should be shown as a respondent in quash applications," he said. This aspect would be dealt by the court on the administrative side, he said in the recent order.