Douglas ready to face trial in Chennai

Douglas Devananda, a Sri Lankan minister wanted in connection with a murder case in Chennai and who was declared as a proclaimed offender in 1994, has approached a sessions court in Chennai saying he was ready to face the murder trial through video-conferencing.

He wanted the court to recall the non-bailable arrest warrant pending against him, and to dispense with his personal appearance in court.

Douglas Devananda and his men are charged with the murder of one Thirunavukkarasu at Choolaimedu in Chennai, in 1986.

According to the city police, the then Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) cadres had opened fire at local residents on Diwali eve, and killed one person.

Though all were arrested and remanded in judicial custody, all of them absconded after they were released on bail.

In 1994 the trial court had issued a non-bailable warrant against him and proclaimed him as an absconding accused.

On Tuesday, Douglas filed a petition before the IV additional sessions judge, Rajagopalan, seeking to dispense with his personal appearance in connection with the case.

Noting that he was a minister in Sri Lanka since 1994, Douglas said his visit to Tamil Nadu at this juncture would trigger a law and order problem in the state.

He, however, said he was prepared to face the trial through video-conferencing.

He is facing various charges such as rioting and offences punishable under the Arms Act.

The additional judge, Rajagopalan, issued notice to the public prosecutor and posted the matter to Wednesday for further hearing. (Times of India)