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Supreme Court turns down Deputy Speaker's plea on release of Tamil Nadu fishermen

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 - 8:14pm IST | Place: Chennai | Agency: PTI

The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha M Thambidurai's plea seeking its direction to the Centre for securing the release of Tamil Nadu fishermen apprehended by Sri Lankan Navy and asked him to raise the issue in Parliament, saying the judiciary cannot decide such issues. A bench, headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha, said diplomatic issues are involved in the case and the court has no jurisdiction over it.

Observing that the issue is very important and serious, the bench suggested Thambidurai and other petitioners approach the Centre on the issue and to raise it in Parliament.

"Dispensation has changed, so you make a fresh representation to government. We know our limitation. Best way is to raise the issue in Parliament. You are MP yourself. It is a serious issue but it can't be resolved here. We are not undermining the seriousness of the issue but we cannot issue direction in such cases. We don't interfere in diplomatic issues," the bench said.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi also pleaded that such issues cannot be decided by courts and said he can help fix a meeting of petitioners with the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj where they can ask the government to intervene.

"It is very difficult for the court, even for the government to resolve the issue. This matter can't be decided by the court," Rohatgi said. The apex court had on October 25 last year issued a notice to the Centre and the state government on petitions filed by DMK and AIADMK MPs for release of those languishing in jails there.

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