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HC quashes criminal case against accused


Madurai: The Madras High Court has quashed a criminal case filed by Kovilpatti Police in Tuticorin district against four persons in connection with a blast in a match factory that left four women workers dead.

Justice C T Selvam of the Madurai bench said except for the alleged confession by an accused, there was no other material to prosecute the petitioners in the criminal case.

The accused had claimed that the petitioners were also partners of Ranjith Rathna Match Works where the blast took place on June 11,2013.

The judge said without sufficient material, police could not make the petitioners undergo the ordeal of facing trial.

Besides, parallel proceedings initiated under the Factories Act, after the blast, showed the other two accused (apart from the four) in the case as the owner and manager of the match factory.

The prosecution said the women were loading matchstick bags in a container box inside a van when a fire broke out,engulfing them.

Police had charged the owner and the manager with not providing sufficient protection and safety to the labourers.

The confession of one of the arrested led to the police including four more in the charge sheet and they prayed the court to quash the case on the ground that they had nothing to do with the management of the factory.

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