Kochi: Kerala High Court on Friday asked for the status report of the evidence tampering case filed against Kerala Transport Minister Antony Raju from the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court of Nedumangad in the Thiruvananthapuram district.
The Court asked for the report while considering a PIL submitted by George Vattukulam seeking an expeditious trial in the case.
Vattukulam had challenged the non-commencement of the trial, and the petition was considered by Justice Ziyad Rahman AA. The matter will be taken after two weeks, Court said.
The Court also observed that a detailed discussion was required to decide upon the maintainability of the case.
The case against the Minister for 'evidence tampering' was registered when he was an advocate. It pertains that he allegedly conspired with a clerk of the district court of Thiruvananthapuram and replaced an undergarment, which was a material object in a drug trafficking case.
The case also involved an Australian citizen, Andrew Salvatore who was booked under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
The district court later sentenced Salvatore to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment. He was later acquitted by the Kerala High Court after the underwear presented as evidence in the district court was found to be smaller and could not have been worn by the accused at the time of his arrest.
The then Minister was the counsel of the accused (Salvatore) at that time.
In 2006, police had filed the charge sheet against the Minister and it was allegedly pending in the magistrate court for years.