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Madras HC judge recuses himself from hearing Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict’s plea

Chennai: Madras High Court’s Justice Sundar Mohan has recused himself from hearing a writ petition filed by Shanthan alias T. Suthendarraja, a convict in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

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Shanthan had filed a petition seeking a direction to the Union Home Ministry as well as the Tamil Nadu government to take immediate steps for his deportation.

The case was listed before a division bench of Justices S.S. Sundar and Sundar Mohan and he later recused himself from hearing the case, stating that, as an advocate, he had appeared in the Supreme Court in a case connected with this.

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The bench then directed the High Court registry to list the case before a Bench led by Justice D. Krishnakumar as per standing instructions.

Shanthan, in an affidavit filed through his counsel P. Pugalendhi, stated that he was a Sri Lankan national and that he had been detained in a special camp (foreigners detention centre) under the Foreigners Act, 1946 ever since he was released from prison on November 12, 2022, on the basis of a Supreme Court order.

In the petition, he pleaded that he had to go urgently to Sri Lanka as his 75-year-old mother residing in Valletta in Jaffna was seriously ill. He also stated that the Union Home Ministry had passed an order on November 11, 2022, ordering that he should not move out of the boundaries of the special camp till his deportation to his home country.

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