HC Quashes Criminal Proceedings Against Kerala Transport Minister in 1990 Evidence Tampering Case

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday quashed the proceedings in a trial court against state Transport Minister Antony Raju for alleged tampering of evidence in a drug seizure case reported in 1990.

The court quashed the proceedings mentioning the technical grounds.

The case against the minister, a leader of Janadhipathya Kerala Congress party, which is an ally of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), was related to an alleged tampering of evidence in a drug seizure case reported in 1990.

Raju was the lawyer of the accused in the drug case.

The accused in the drug case, an Australian citizen, was arrested from the international airport in Thiruvananthapuram on charges of carrying hashish and the prosecution had produced an innerwear as part of the evidence against him saying the contraband was smuggled in that.

The Australian citizen was sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment.

However, he was acquitted by the High Court in 1993, after his counsel proved that the innerwear was too small for him.

A police probe later showed that Raju, who had appeared for the accused, had received the underwear from the court and returned it four months later before the accused moved the high court.

Following this, a district court had ordered a case to be registered against Raju and court clerk K Jose in connection with the tampering of the material evidence.

Court sources had said the case was deferred 22 times and Raju had never appeared before it in any of the hearings.

Raju, who contested in the assembly election in 2021, had stated in his affidavit about this pending case.

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