#MadrasHC- issues notice for withdrawal of cases against anti-nuclear activists


Chennai, June 18, 2013

PTI

 The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered issue of notice to Tamil Nadu Government asking why steps were not taken to withdraw cases filed against anti-nuclear activists protesting against Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project.

First Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal and Justice M. Sathyanarayanan, ordered notice to the state government and sought reply within three weeks.

The notice was issued on a petition which sought a direction to the state government to withdraw all criminal cases filed against anti-nuclear activists, who have been protesting against the Indo-Russian project in Tirunelveli District.

The petition referred to the Supreme Court’s direction to the state government to withdraw all criminal cases against the protestors.

 

Vanniyar woman ‘sacrifices’ marriage with dalit youth following pressure from community #Vaw


, TNN | Jun 7, 2013,

Vanniyar woman 'sacrifices' marriage with dalit youth following pressure from community
When 22-year-old Divya, who belongs to the vanniyar community, decided to elope and marry a dailt youth, all hell broke loose.
CHENNAI: Divya Nagarajan could barely stand in the Madras high court premises on Thursday. The pressures of a seventh-month ordeal that included a daring elopement, an inter-caste marriage and caste violence, with strong political overtones that spread across Dharmapuri district, sat heavily on her young shoulders. When 22-year-old Divya, who belongs to the vanniyar community, decided to elope and marry a dailt youth, all hell broke loose. Her father Nagarajan committed suicide, promptingvanniyar community members to go on the rampage in the dalit habitation in Natham colony in Dharmapuri district in November last year. “My husband and I are under huge pressure. I have decided to sacrifice my love, my marriage, for the sake of a society that is caste-obsessed, and for the sake of my mother,” Divya told TOI.

There was high drama in the court premises, when, in an unexpected turn of events, Divya, who had braved the storm and stubbornly refused to leave her dalithusband all through the caste turmoil that rocked Dharmapuri, arrived unexpectedly at the Madras high court on Thursday in response to a habeas corpus plea filed by her mother Thenmozhi last year. She had disappeared from her husband’s house on Tuesday night. Her husband E Elavarasan (20), who had filed a ‘missing’ complaint with theDharmapuri town police, was also present in the court. Divya declined to respond to her husband’s attempts to speak to her. But, Elavarasan, appearing shocked, said, “I strongly believe she will not leave me. We have been facing all these troubles only because I am born a dalit.”

Divya said she was under tremendous pressure to leave her husband and that she was in a disturbed state of mind. Her mother and relatives accompanied the young woman, who appeared too weak to even stand on her own, in the court premises. Her marriage to dalit youth Elavarasan in October last year against the wishes of her family precipitated a deep vanniyar-dalit rift not seen in the region for more than a decade. Under pressure from village leaders to advice his daughter to return to the family, Nagaragan committed suicide, triggering violence that spread rapidly in the region. “My father’s death was unexpected. I have been feeling guilty about his suicide, the violence that followed and the houses of dalit families that were burnt down. I am unable to sleep or eat properly due to the trauma,” Divya said, breaking down.

“Now, whenever I think about it, I shiver with fear. I can’t understand why caste plays such a role in our society?” she said. Justifying her decision to suddenly leave her husband and to return to her mother, Divya said, “I have certain responsibilities towards my family. At the same time I am also grateful to Elavarasan, who took good care of me despite the turmoil around us,” she said, adding that she was forced to remove her mangalsutra soon after she reached her mother’s house in Sellankottai in the district.

Divya said she was not kidnapped or forcibly taken away from her husband. “I have been talking to my mother in recent months over phone. I can understand her trauma. Elavarasan and I have also been under huge social pressure,” she said. On Tuesday, when her mother came to Dharmapuri town for medical treatment, Divya decided to meet her and accompany her back home. “It was a tough decision for me,” she Divya, trying to hold back tears.

Listening to her daughter, Thenmozhi said, “I am in a fix. I don’t know whether to be happy because my daughter has returned to me or feel sad that her married life has been shattered.” Embittered by the events, Elavarasan said, “The last three months I thought her mother had a change of heart and was backing us. It is only now that I believe she has been influencing her daughter and is still opposed to our marriage.”

 

Madars HC – Lankan woman seeks Rs 20 lakh for illegal detention #Vaw


TNN Apr 29, 2013, 05.38AM IST

CHENNAI: A Sri Lankan Tamil woman, claiming that her Chennai-based husband had illegally admitted her in a private asylum at Urappakkam here and kept her confined there for 20 months, moved the Madras high court seeking 20 lakh compensation.

A division bench comprising Justice K N Basha and Justice P Devadass, before whom the habeas corpus petition of K Rizmiya came up for hearing, summoned her husband Kaja Mohideen to the court, and then referred the case to be settled through mediation. The mediation has been scheduled for June 5.

Rizmiya’s counsel P Vijendran said she had joined the Abha Hospital in Saudi Arabia as midwife in 2002, and met Kaja Mohideen, a container driver, there. They fell in love and later got married at Ambara in Sri Lanka.

When their daughter was three and half years old, he left for Chennai without informing her. Rizmiya said it took her two years to reach Chennai and trace her husband’s address, only to realize that Kaja Mohideen was already married with two children. He again persuaded her to return to Saudi Arabia, saying the family needed money to settle in Chennai.

According to her, she returned to Chennai in 2008 and insisted that he lived with her. In the guise of taking her to a hospital for treatment, she was admitted in Oxford Mental Health Home at Urappakkam, saying she was insane. Vijendran said Rizmiya said she was in illegal confinement at the ‘home’ for 20 months. She told TOI that she was administered heavy sedatives and fed cheap food by home managers, who later released her after obtaining her signatures on some papers. “I do not know what was written in that paper,” she said in the petition.

Noting that she had worked in Saudi Arabia and given her entire earnings to her husband for nearly seven years, Rizmiya said she had approached the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK), chief minister’s special cell and the city police seeking help to reunite with her husband. Since no help came her way, she filed the present petition seeking 20 lakh as compensation.

Rizmiya said in the guise of taking her to a hospital for treatment, her husband Kaja Mohideen admitted her to Oxford Mental Health Home at Urappakkam, saying she was insane

 

Madras court orders CBI enquiry into a ‘ MISSING 17 YEAR OLD BOY “, as CB-CID botched up the investigations


The Hon'ble Chief Justice of India: Request to Provide a Immediate CBI Investigation to my Son's case.

 

BACKGROUND OF THE CASE

On October 15 of 2011, SANDESH, aged 17, student +1 at Maharishi Vidya Mandir, Hosur, went to a nearby store but he didn’t return back. We looked for him all night but could not find him.  His father  went to the Sipcot Police Station the next day, but my FIRwas lodged only two days later.On 11 July 2012, the Division bench comprising Justices KN Basha and P Devadass ordered the transfer of the Investigation to CB-CID. but the CB-CID also botched up the investigations  and they gave family  an unclaimed body of 40 years old Ias that of  Sandesh’s body,  The familyw ent to court again asking CBI inquiry which was granted  1April 2013 , THE MADRAS COURT HAS ordered CBI inquiry

THE FATHERS ANGUISH BELOW— 

DELAY IN INVESTIGATIONS BY THE POLICE:

Even after the FIR was lodged, the police didn’t take any sort of action to trace my son. When I insisted, the talaash format of the Complaint and the Call reports of my son’s mobile were reported only after a month later. I always suspected Raj Kumar I.R (A central excise Inspector as on date) and his wife Hemalatha (a govt. school teacher) as their daughter Monisha had a love affair with my son. And my Son used to attend tuitions held by Monisha’s Mother for past 3 years. Later, I came to know that they are the only one who has the illegal custody of my son, Sandesh.  Although I Tried, My complaint against the above said was never lodged by the Sipcot Police Station and Instead I was threatened by an officer who said not to go against them. When I did I lost my job as Raj Kumar I.R informed my company management not to let me allow my Job. I was a Employee at Aankit Granites Ltd.,And was Production Incharge with a monthly salary of Rs.20,000/- And due to Raj Kumar I.R I lost my job, as I took steps against him.

As the Police did not take any sort of steps to trace my son, I, with a prayer many authorities as follows:

Ø  The Sub collector, Hosur

Ø  The  District Collector, Krishnagiri Dist

Ø  The  Assistant Superintendent of Police, Hosur

Ø  The  Superintendent of police, Krishnagiri

Ø  DIG, Salem

Ø  IG, Coimbatore

Ø  DGP, Chennai

Ø  CM- CELL, Tamil Nadu

But there was no response of any kind from them. And my FIR against Raj Kumar I.R and Hemalatha wasn’t lodged and no action was taken.

When I met the DIG, Salem, he in front of me ordered the Superintendent Of Police, Krishnagiri through phone and signed in the petition of mine stating ‘ to alter the case to a kidnapping case and to arrest the accused’, but for some reasons, SP, krishnagiri didn’t do as directed.

Prayer to the MADRAS HIGH COURT to produce my son:

In the Month of December of 2011, I had to file a Habeas Corpus Petition (1908/2011) at the madras High court, as I had no alternate way. I shed all my hopes at the High Court. In the Earlier Prosecutions, first the case was directed to the JSP of Hosur, R.V Ramyabharathi, who stated in her status reports that she is looking for my son and also having a close watch at the Under Suspects. Then, the case was directed to the Superintendent of Police, Krishnagiri, Abhishek Dixit, who tried to close the case with an ulterior motive to save Raj Kumar I.R and Hemalatha.

WRONG JUDGEMENT, DENIED JUSTICE:

                                                       When the Matter came up for hearing on 25 June 2012, Additional Public Prosecutor, Govindarajan informed the Division bench comprising Justices KN Basha and P Devadass, that a skull had been recovered and that it would be sent to the Forensic department for Analysis and Scientific Investigation. And the Bench declared my son dead and altered the case to Section 174 of CrPc, without knowing the truth and without any kind of approval from my side. The next hearing was posted to July 9 2012 for the final report of police. The DNA tests were conducted only on 29 June 2012. I always co-operated with the police and give my blood samples knowing the truth that the skull recovered was not that of my son’s but the police never had a co-operation with us.

FALSE CLAIMS BY THE POLICE:

The Claim made by the police is entirely false. The Skull, which was recovered belongs to a 40 year old whose body was found on 24 October 2011 in a lake at Hosur and a Case was Registered at the Sipcot Police Station (FIR: 374/2011) as a un- identified body. The case was registered at the same Police station where my case is lodged. The skull recovered by the police is not my son’s at all. And also, The SP, Abhishek Dixit always harassed me and my family stating that my son is dead, which is entirely false. And earlier, when the case was directed to the SP, the ID marks of my son were very often replaced with the false ones at the TN police website, without my knowledge.

All this incidents prove a sign of danger to my son.

A RAY OF HOPE:

On 11 July 2012, the Division bench comprising Justices KN Basha and P Devadass ordered the transfer of the Investigation to CB-CID.The bench issued the following order as in the Order copy.

(1)    The Additional Director General of Police, CBCID, Chennai is hereby directed to nominate a competent officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police to take up the further investigation in this case within a period of ten days from the date of receipt of a copy of this order and also intimate the first respondent about the nomination of the said officer.

(2)    The First Respondent, in turn, on receipt of the intimation from the Additional Director General of Police, CBCID, Chennai, shall hand over the entire records relating to the Crime Nos.368/2011 and 374/2011 to the said nominated officer within a period of seven [7] days from the date of receipt of the said intimation.

(3)    The Said Nominated officer shall take all efforts to expedite the investigation and complete the same as expeditiously as possible and shall file a final report, more particularly, within a period of three months from the date of receipt of the records from the first respondent.

(4)    Post the matter after three months.

This order was issued on 11-07-2012 for the HCP 1908/2011.

FADING HOPES AND LOSING FAITH, DELAY IN STARTING THE INVESTIGATION BY THE CB- CID:

I received my copy of the order. Although the Copy of the order was made ready and sent it to Additional Director General Of police, CB-CID but there was no response. When I enquired through phone and went personally at the Office They said that they haven’t received the Copy of the Order and were Helpless until they had the Order copy. I also sent a copy of the order to the ADGP, CBCID Chennai by mail but they said that would accept the one which is only from the Court. And there was no response from two [2] Months. The Investigation of the case came to stand still.

As there was responsible from CB- CID, I filed a petition again in the Madras High court C on September 3. The petition SR no: 36968 with serial 11 and the proceeding are awaited. On September 5, an Officer from CB CID called me to inform that he was the nominated officer. When asked, he said he was the nominated only on September 4. When I questioned the reason for delay, the reply that it could be due to ‘Administrative’ reasons. The officer appointed was Rajesh, DSP, Krishnagiri- Salem, CB –CID and Vijayraghavan, Inspector CB CID, Krishnagiri unit. In this case, Each and every moment is precious and one’s life at risk, but the CB- CID started their investigation after two [2] months from the date of order passed. By facing all these problems, I have no more belief in State Police and the CB CID of the state.

I  stay here in hosur with my wife and two children. Both of my sons study at Maharishi Vidya Mandir, Sipcot, Hosur, Elder son Sandesh in +1 and the younger Sandeep in 9th Standard. We all were leading a decent happy life but now, we are just helpless. There’s no trace of my son yet.

I hereby end this hopefully written Petition, believing that a CBI Investigation is ordered to my Son’s Case, to trace my son Sandesh Immediate. And Take Necessary Actions against the people for their wrong doings.

[SUSHIL MANDAL]

for more information contact- sushilm_8888@rediffmail.com and
Contact number’s are 09486071246, 09629676704.

Now after a year and half MADRAS COURT ORDERS CBI INQUIRY,

THE ORDER BELOW

Order_Copy_PDF

 

Bombay HC approves Sterlite Industries merger proposal, but ball is in Madras HC


Press Trust of India | Updated On: April 03, 2013 15:44 (IST)
New Delhi: Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd today said the Bombay High Court has approved the merger of the mining firm with Madras Aluminium Company, Sterlite Energy Ltd, Vedanta Aluminium and Sesa Goa.

“The Honourable High Court of Bombay…approved the scheme of amalgamation and arrangement amongst Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd, Madras Aluminium Company Ltd, Sterlite Energy Ltd, Vedanta Aluminium Ltd and Sesa Goa Ltd and their respective shareholders and creditors to create Sesa Sterlite,” the company said in a filing to BSE.

However, the merger is subject to approval of Madras High Court, it said.

“The scheme is also subject to approval of the Honourable High Court of Madras, wherein the hearings have been completed and the order is awaited,” the statement said.

Sterlite Industries (India) is a leading metal and mining firm which produces aluminium, copper, zinc, lead, silver and commercial energy.

Besides India, the company has operations in countries like Australia, Namibia, South Africa and Ireland.

#India- Supreme court fined Sterlite 1 billion rupees for breaking green laws #goodnews


A labourer works inside a copper workshop in Siliguri June 6, 2009. REUTERS-Rupak De Chowdhuri-Files

A labourer works in a factory at Bharibramna, 20 km (12 miles) west of Jammu, July 15, 2008. REUTERS-Amit Gupta-Files
NEW DELHI | Tue Apr 2, 2013 2:59pm IST

(Reuters) – The Supreme Court has fined Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd 1 billion rupees for breaking environmental laws at its copper smelter in Tamil Nadu. The case is unrelated to a separate order that has shut the 300,000 tonnes per year Tuticorin plant, India’s largest, since last week following complaints of a gas leak. Despite imposing the fine, the Supreme Court overruled an earlier order from the Madras High Court demanding the firm close the plant over longstanding environmental concerns. That disputed order was handed down before the gas leak forced the smelter’s immediate closure. “We have to see that no person or society would be adversely affected by environmental hazards,” said judge A.K. Patnaik, who headed the bench. The money must be deposited within two months, he said. On Monday, the company said the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) had ordered it to shut the plant after local residents complained of breathing problems. Sterlite, a unit of Vedanta Resources PLC (VED.L), has for years been involved in legal battles over environmental concerns at the Tuticorin smelter, with the first of many petitions against it filed in 1996. “Sterlite Industries would continue to work in close association with the State Government of Tamil Nadu and other regulatory bodies, towards maintaining highest standards of Health, Safety and Environment,” the company said in a statement. India consumes around 600,000 tonnes of copper annually – about 3 percent of the world’s total, far behind China which used around 9 million tonnes last year. Shares in Sterlite rose more than 3 percent on Tuesday in a firm Mumbai market. (Reporting by Suchitra Mohanty and Siddesh Mayenkar; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

 

Novartis case: Supreme Court’s historic decision on Section 3(d) #TRIPS #Patent


A demonstration against Swiss drug manufacturer Novartis in Mumbai, Maharashtra, on Dec. 21, 2012.

Anand Grover | Apr 2, 2013,

After 2005 India started granting product patents on medicines. However, Section S

ection 3(d), one of the safeguards introduced by Parliament, seeks to prevent patenting of new forms of known substances unless they exhibit enhanced efficacy. Were it not for section 3(d), the standards for grant of product patents on medicines in India would be lower, almost identical to the standards in countries such as the United States andEuropean Union, where a large number of patents are granted on minor modifications of a single medicine.

 

Section 3(d), along with other safeguards such as allowing patent oppositions by public interest groups, has been used as one of the grounds to successfully challenge patents for minor modifications of several antiretroviral (ARV) medicines used to treat people living with HIV.Section 3(d) also became the basis for the refusal of a patent toNovartis for the beta-crystalline form of imatinib mesylate, a drug used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), a type of blood cancer. In 1998, Novartis filed a patent application in India for this medicine. In 2005, the Chennai Patent office heard patent oppositions to this application including one filed by the Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA). The CPAA challenge was spurred by great concern over the price Novartis set for its version of the drug (sold as Gleevec) at Rs 1,20,000 ($2,400) per month as against the generic versions that were available at a cost of around Rs 8,000 to Rs 12,000 per month.

In 2006, the Patent Office rejected Novartis’ patent application on several grounds, including section 3(d). Novartis immediately challenged the constitutional validity of Section 3(d) before the Madras High Court arguing that the term “efficacy” was vague. In 2007, dismissing the challenge, the Madras High Court held that the word “efficacy” had a definite meaning in the pharmaceutical field, i.e. therapeutic efficacy. In 2009, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) rejected Novartis appeal against the patent application rejection on the ground that it did not satisfy section 3(d). Novartis then approached the Supreme Court asking for a liberal interpretation of section 3(d) that would allow it to get a patent on imatinib mesylate.

Novartis tried to argue that the physico-chemical properties of the polymorph form of the imatinib molecule, i.e. better flow properties, better thermodynamic stability and lower hygroscopicity, resulted in improved efficacy. The Supreme Court firmly rejected this contention holding that in the case of medicines, efficacy means “therapeutic efficacy” and these properties while they may be beneficial to some patients do not meet this standard. The Supreme Court also held that patent applicants must prove the increase in therapeutic efficacy based on research data in vivo in animals.

Eight years after India’s patent law was amended, the Supreme Court decision has firmly established the legality and validity of Section 3(d) and has lain to rest the controversy raked up around the section by the pharmaceutical industry. The Commerce Minister has said that India’s law is fully in compliance with the TRIPS Agreement. However, on April 15, commerce minister Anand Sharma travels to Brussels to potentially sign the EU-India FTA that threatens to impose on India obligations far in excess of the TRIPS Agreement; obligations known to undermine generic production and access to medicines.

The Indian Parliament has balanced India’s obligations under TRIPS with the right to health through Section 3(d). The Supreme Court has unequivocally interpreted the true intention and spirit of this provision. It behooves the Indian government to respect the Parliament and the Supreme Court and ensure that it does not sign away these hard fought victories by health and public interest groups in trade negotiations.

The author is a senior advocate and director, Lawyers Collective

Relief marks shutting of #Vedanta unit #goodnews


31 March 2013

shivani chaturvedi, Statesman

CHENNAI, 31 MARCH: The closure of the Thoothukudi unit of Sterlite Industries yesterday has brought great relief to environmental activists of Tamil Nadu and residents of Thoothukudi (formerly known as Tuticorin).

The copper smelter plant owned by Sterlite Industries has affected the livelihoods of the fishermen, farmers and other sections of the population through unprecedented level of pollution.

Mr Vaiko, the leader of the MDMK, has been campaigning for the closure of this polluting unit since 1997.

The closure of the Thoothukudi unit of Sterlite Industries comes just two days before the apex court is to deliver its verdict on an appeal filed by the Sterlite Industries challenging the 2010 order of the Madras High Court directing the closure of the unit on a petition filed by Mr Vaiko and others. They had complained to the court that the unit was discharging noxious effluent which devastated the entire environment by polluting sea, land and air in the region.

The plant has been closed following the order issued by Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board in reply to the complaint by the town’s residents that the sulphur dioxide emitted by the company was much higher than the permissible levels. Since 23 March this year, people in and around Thoothukudi have been complaining of suffocation, sneezing and burning sensation in the eyes due to large scale discharge of sulphur dioxide.

However, a press note from the company claimed that the plant adhered to the highest standards of environment, health and safety practices.

The factory, which began production in 1996 has an installed capacity to produce 4,00,000 tonnes of copper per year. It has a regular workforce of 1,000 and 3,000 contract workers.

Sun news reader suspended after sexual harassment plaint #Vaw #WTFnews


By Express News Service – CHENNAI

30 March 2013

A woman news reader, who recently filed a sexual harassment complaint with police against the news editor of a private television channel, has been suspended from service along with her fiance.

Sources said the news reader and her fiance were suspended from work at Sun TV pending an inquiry into another complaint filed by her colleagues against her.

Speaking to Express, the victim said the complaint against her was a “fabricated one” to shield news editor Raja and his associate Vetrivendan so as to sabotage the sexual harassment complaint filed by her.

The 28-year-old news reader filed a complaint with the police on March 19 against the duo alleging that she faced harassment at work after she refused to concede their demands for sexual favours.

The duo had also allegedly threatened her with dire consequences if she complained about their moves.

Subsequently, a case was registered under section 506(ii) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 4 of the Tamil Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act. Raja was arrested and was remanded to Judicial Custody while Vetrivendan went missing. The latter had moved the Madras High Court for advance bail on Thursday and the matter was pending. Raja is now out on conditional bail.

Meanwhile, an forum of woman journalists on Thursday sought immediate reinstatement of the woman news reader and her fiance. Network of Women in Media, which is an independent forum of media professionals across the country, also demanded an inquiry into the case and sought setting up of a formal mechanism to redress sexual harassment cases at the Chennai-based channel.

The forum noted that there is no redressal mechanism at the channel for complaints of sexual harassment. This is in contempt of the guidelines issued in 1997 by the Supreme Court in the Vishakha case, which places an obligation on every establishment in the country to ensure the rights of women workers by creating a conducive workplace free from sexual harassment.

On the same day, a group of women journalists in the city separately come out with a statement in support of the victim and condemned the practice of targeting women for lodging complaint of sexual harassment at workplace. Sun TV officials were not immediately available for comment.

 

#India- 70 year old Doctor sent to prison for doing his duty , by Jayalalitha’s cop #WTFnews


TNN | Mar 30, 2013, 12.49 AM IST

Jaya’s cop sends doctor,70, to jail for doing his job
 CHENNAI: Doctors’ associations in Tamil Naduare up in arms after a 70-year-old physician in Chennai had to spend a night in prison for stopping a police sub-inspector accompanying chief minister J Jayalalithaa from entering the intensive care unit of Apollo Speciality Hospitals in Nandanam with his shoes on. Doctors have threatened to hold a protest on Thursday, if the charges are not withdrawn.
Dr Karunanidhi, a retired government doctor, is the personal physician of B Sivanthi Adityan, owner of Tamil dailyDinathanthi, who is admitted in Apollo Hospitals. On Wednesday, Dr Karunanidhi was arrested after sub-inspector Asaithambi complained that the doctor abused and pushed him when he went to the hospital to check on the security arrangements for the chief minister’s visit.Police charged Dr Karunanidhi under sections 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to a government servant while he/she is on duty), 353 (assaulting or using criminal force on public servant), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.The doctor was produced before the 18th Metropolitan magistrate Anandavelu. Dr Karunanidhi was remanded to judicial custody and sent to Puzhal prison. Almost immediately, the doctor’s lawyer moved bail application. Bail was granted at 8.30pm on Thursday. The doctor, however, had to spend the night in jail as the bail order reached the authorities after office hours. He was released on Friday.

Advocates, too, have taken exception to the speed with which Dr Karunanidhi was remanded by the magistrate. The Madras High Court has said on several occasions that magisterial courts should not behave “like a rubber stamp” and remand people “in a mechanical manner”. S Prabakaran, president of Tamil Nadu Advocates Association, said, “Assuming that an unarmed senior citizen intimidated an officer, a prima facie case is not made out for remand. The magistrate could have exercised discretion, recorded his reasons and let him out from the court itself.”

Doctors associations say ICUs are sterile zones and could be contaminated if visitors walk in without protective gear. Further, there is risk of infection to the visitors, which is why certain protocol is followed the world over. Tamil Government Doctors’ Association secretary Dr P Balakrishnan said Dr Karunanidhi had done what was best for his patient. “It is important for the hospital administration to ensure that certain zones are sterile. If they fail to do so, the doctor should do it,” he said.

Doctors also questioned the need to imprison a senior citizen. “He is a retired government doctor, who has been practicing medicine for several decades. He has been a great teacher. He will be available any time for an inquiry. What was the need to arrest or jail him?” said Dr T N Ravishankar, former honorary secretary, Indian Medical Association.