The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed at the admission stage itself a petition seeking a CBI probe into the alleged role of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami in the robbery in the bungalow of former Chief Miniser J Jayalalitha in Kodanad estate in April 2017 in which the security guard was killed and which later triggered four more unnatural deaths.
The first bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna found no merit in the petition filed by "Traffic" Ramaswamy. The Chief Justice said: "Somebody makes a statement that CM has committed a crime. CM says he has not done it. He orders an enquiry. What's wrong in it?"
Sensing that the bench was not willing to admit the petition, the counsel sought permission to withdraw the case. However, the court refused permission to withdraw it, saying "it will create further confusion".
The petition is based on the statements made by Mathew Samuel, a journalist who was formerly editor of Tehelka. On January 11, Mathew released a 16-minute video in which two accused persons in the robbery case - Sayan and Manoj- alleged that Palaniswami masterminded the robbery attempt and subsequent killings.
On April 23, 2017 that the security guard of the Kodanad estate, was murdered in a robbery attempt by a 10-member gang. It emerged during the probe that Jayalalitha's former driver C Kanagaraj and Sayan had allegedly plotted the crime.
Later, Kanagaraj and Sayan's wife and daughter were killed in separate road accidents. A few months later Dinesh Kumar, another employee of the property was found dead, in a case of suspected suicide.
A total of 10 people have been arrested and a charge- sheet has also been filed in the sessions court in Nilgiris. They are now on conditional bail. Ramaswamy alleged that the Tamil Nadu police have registered cases against Samuel, Sayan and Manoj in an attempt to silence them. The State police are trying to destroy evidence in the case, he alleged.
"Since Palaniswami is the Chief Minister of the State, it is just and necessary for this court to hand over the criminal case CBI", he said in his petition. Palaniswami has already filed a defamation suit in the Madras High Court against Mathew Samuel and his associates and got an interim ordre restraining them from making further accusations against him.