TN Custodial Deaths | Madras HC appeals to Print, Visual and Social Media not to misinterpret observations made during hearings & not to conduct media trial; CBCID to file a status report in a sealed cover

Madras High Court: A Division Bench of M. Sathyanarayanan and P. Rajamanickam, JJ., while addressing the matter of Custodial Death of “Jayaraj & Bennicks” appealed the members of media to not conduct “Media Trial” as that may affect the prosecution and accused both.

Petition was filed to direct respondent 1 to submit a report on the death of Bennicks and Jayaraj, accused in Sathankulam and or pass any other order/direction.

No Media Trial

Bench appealed to members of the Print, Visual and Social Media not to misinterpret the proceedings or observations made during the course of hearing with the further appeal, not to conduct media trial as it may affect both the prosecution as well as the accused.

Additional Advocate General for the State submitted that pursuant to the directions of this Court, Anil Kumar, Deputy Superintendent of police, CBCID had taken over the investigation and effected arrest of the following under Sections 302, 342 and 201 IPC:

  • Raghu Ganesh, Sub Inspector of Police
  • Balakrishnan, Sub Inspector of Police
  • Murugan, Head Constable
  • Muthurajan, Gr-I Police Constable
  • Sridhar, Inspector of Police/Station House Officer, Sathankulam Police Station
  • Pauldurai, Special Sub Inspector of Police
  • Samidurai, Head Constable
  • Vail Muthu, Gr-I Police Constable
  • Chelladurai, Gr-I Police Constable
  • Thomas Fransous, Gr-I Police Constable and steps have already been taken to get their police custody before the expiry of initial period of remand of 15 days.

Assistant Solicitor General of India, V. Kathirvelu submitted that CBI had registered two separate cases under Sections 176 (1-a)(i) CrPC and Additional Superintendent of Police, CBI V.K. Shukla had been nominated as investigating officer.

Bench passed the following orders pertaining to the present petition:

CBCID shall filed a status report as to the investigation carried out so far in a sealed cover before this Court on the next date of hearing.

CBI while investigating the cases registered shall take into account, the materials collected by CBCID so far, for the purpose of carrying out the effective and quality investigation and if it feels that custodial interrogation of any of the accused is necessary, it may take appropriate steps.

Investigating Agency either CBCID or CBI, may take immediate step to file applications for getting police custody of the arrested persons, within fifteen days of remand before the jurisdictional Magistrate as contemplated under Section 167 CrPC.

Matter to be listed on 28-07-2020. [Registrar (Judicial) v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2020 SCC OnLine Mad 1332 , decided on 9-07-2020]

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TN Custodial Deaths | Madras HC directs preservation of clue materials; Issues directions on premise that case be transferred to CBI

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