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A file photo of Durai Dayanidhi. Photo: Mint (Mint)
A file photo of Durai Dayanidhi. Photo: Mint
(Mint)

HC grants anticipatory bail to Durai Dayanidhi

Police officers say they will appeal to the Supreme Court to cancel the anticipatory bail

Madurai/Chennai: The Madras high court on Monday quashed a non-bailable arrest warrant against Union minister M.K. Alagiri’s son Durai Dayanidhi and granted him anticipatory bail in the alleged multi-crore illegal granite quarrying scam.

Granting the relief, justice C.T. Selvam of the Madurai bench of he court directed Dayanidhi to surrender his passport and also to appear daily at the Melur police station, where a case has been registered against him, until further orders.

According to the court order, the accused has been asked to surrender to the investigating officers of the case within 15 days of delivery of the order.

“We are waiting for instructions from the government on further action," said state advocate general A. Navaneetha Krishnan.

Police officers said that they will file a charge sheet in the case soon, and appeal to the Supreme Court to cancel the anticipatory bail, and also appeal to handover Dayanidhi for custodial interrogation.

Dayanidhi is expected to make an appearance in front of the investigating officer of the case in Melur in the next 3-4 days, and he is in fact on his way to Madurai, said P Kumaresan Dayanidhi’s lawyer, who refused to reveal from where Dayanidhi was coming.

Kumaresan also said, once Dayanidhi surrenders, and executes his surety, the order is seen to have been complied and even if the police appeal to the SC, the court will not have much power to cancel the anticipatory bail.

The non-bailable arrest warrant against Dayanidhi was ordered by judicial magistrate V. Jayakumar at Melur in Madurai district on a police plea in October. Since then, a police team has been on the lookout for Dayanidhi.

Dayanidhi and nine others are facing charges that firms owned by them had mined granite without permission.

On a complaint from the local village administrative officer, police had charged Dayanidhi and S. Nagarajan, partners in Olympus Granites Pvt. Ltd, with encroaching on adjacent government land and taking away large quantity of granite illegally without quarrying in the permitted area and causing a loss of Rs.44 crore to the government by illegal quarrying. Dayanidhi has been absconding since August, when the first information report was filed.

15 others including Dayanidhi’s partner, S Nagarajan have been granted the anticipatory bail.

Cases had been registered under various Indian Penal Code sections including 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 447 (criminal trespass) and 420 (cheating) against them. The government had cracked down on several firms after former Madurai collector U. Sahayam, in a report, estimated the losses incurred from illegal granite mining at around Rs.16,000 crore.

Police had alerted immigration authorities to help them in preventing Dayanidhi and other accused from leaving the country. The companies’ accounts had already been frozen.

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