press trust of india
New Delhi, 3 July
A day after entertaining a plea of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal, a Delhi High Court judge today recused from hearing her petition challenging a trial court order dismissing her plea for exemption from appearing as a witness in the 2G case.
Justice Veena Birbal, who yesterday had observed that the petition was to stall the proceedings, today refused to hear Ammal’s petition without citing any reason.
“I cannot hear the matter. It has to be listed before another bench,” Justice Birbal said and referred the plea to the judge in-charge of criminal cases. Ammal’s counsel, however, sought an early date and the court fixed the matter for tomorrow before a different bench.
Ammal has been made a prosecution witness in the 2G case and the trial court has summoned her to appear before it on July 8.
Challenging the trial court’s May 31 order, 82-year-old Ammal in her plea has sought the court to pass an order for constitution of a medical board which would then furnish a report on her fitness to appear in court.
Senior advocate Sudhir Nandrajog, appearing for Ammal, had yesterday submitted that she was diagnosed with cognitive and behavioural abnormalities in June last year and that she is progressively and gradually losing recognition of even her near and dear ones.
He had said due to her physical and mental condition, Ammal is prone to “abrasive behaviour, clumsy habit with sudden hitting or punching people, inappropriate talk and action and inability to take care of day-to-day activities”.
He had submitted that the bench should seek a report from the medical board and if it gives a fitness report, his client has no objection in appearing as witness. The bench had deferred the plea for today and had asked the counsel to argue on the aspect of its maintainability after CBI’s counsel Sonia Mathur submitted that the Supreme Court has already put a blanket ban on the high court to entertain any plea in the 2G case.