WhatsApp Image 2023-02-26 at 9.49.20 AM (1)
WhatsApp Image 2023-02-26 at 9.49.20 AM

Antony Raju moves High Court

Kochi: Transport Minister Antony Raju moved Kerala High Court seeking to quash the charge sheet filed against him in connection with tampering of evidence in a drug smuggling case.

Raju argued that the prosecution had not completed the procedures before filing the chargesheet.

The move comes when the trial court’s going to hear the case on Thursday at a magistrate court in Nedumangad.

The Kerala High Court has issued a notice to the trial court in Nedumangad in Thiruvananthapuram seeking a report on 20 years delay in hearing the evidence tampering charge against Kerala Minister Antony Raju in a drug smuggling case.

The Court issued the direction while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which the court said would be recorded in the file only after examining the trial court’s report.

Antony Raju is accused of helping an Australian drug smuggler Andrew Salvatore Cervelli to escape from the country by allegedly tampering with evidence when Raju was practising as a junior lawyer.

Cervelli was arrested in Thiruvananthapuram airport on April 9, 1990 on charges of carrying hashish in his underwear which was produced in the District Court in Thiruvananthapuram as evidence.

The court sentenced Cervelli to 10 years Rigorous Imprisonment.

Later, the District Court verdict was challenged in the Kerala High Court which acquitted Cervelli as the prosecution failed to prove that the underwear was that of Cervelli as it appeared too small for him.

Cervelli left for Australia where he was arrested in 1996 in a murder case. During the interrogation, he admitted to tampering with the evidence through bribery. Interpol alerted India about it.

The case took a decisive turn in 2005, when T P Senkumar, IG southern range, reopened the case. Later, forensic examination found that the underwear was altered to sabotage the drug case.

Following this, the Thiruvananthapuram District Court ordered police to register a case against the court clerk and Raju. 

A charge sheet was filed against Raju and the court clerk in 2013. The case was adjourned 22 times, and later it was shifted to another court in Nedumangad in the same district.

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