NBW against Sri Lankan Minister is still pending

Chennai: Police has objected to the anticipatory bail petition filed by Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda before the Madras High Court in connection with a 1986 murder case and said the Non Bailable Warrant issued by a lower court in 1987 is still pending against him.

In his petition, Douglas claimed he was covered by immunity offered as part of 1987 Indo-Sri Lankan accord. After being enlarged on bail that year, he was `expatriated` to Sri Lanka. So he believed the case had been dropped

Devananda, in his petition last week, had also submitted he is ready to face trial and abide by any condition imposed and that he would appear before it as and when required.

Last year, Devanada had filed a petition challenging the 1994 proclamation order pending in the lower court.

When the matter came up yesterday before Justice K N Basha, police filed a counter, stating that the 10 accused are evading appearance before the trial court and that the proclamation procedures taken against them were in accordance with law.

Though the proclamation was brought on notice in all dailies in 1994, the petitioner till date has not taken any steps to appear before the trial court, they said.

The Investigation Officer dismissed the petition filed by the minister.

On December 8, 2010, the court had ruled that Devananda was not pronounced a proclaimed offender in connection with the case and directed him to seek anticipatory bail with a direction to approach the trial court to recall the NBW against him by showing cause for non-appearance.

Devananda`s visit to India as part of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa-led delegation in June 2010 had triggered a controversy after a pro-LTTE group filed a petition seeking his arrest. However, he had claimed he was covered by immunity offered as part of the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord.