The Bench of Justices PN Prakash and B Pugalendhi of Madras HC gave a formal nod for the State Government to transfer the probe into the custodial deaths of Jayaraj and his son Bennix to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The court, in this matter of custodial death observed,
“… while we appreciate the deference shown to this Court by the State Government, we make it clear that, to transfer or not to transfer the case to the C.B.I., is the policy decision of the State Government and such a transfer is governed by the provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946“.
In view of the State’s decision to transfer the custodial death case investigation to the CBI, the Madurai High Court today issued certain directions to facilitate the process of transfer, if it happens:
- The Registrar (Judicial) of the Madurai Bench is to take photocopies of the preliminary post mortem certificates for safe custody. The original post-mortem certificates are to be sent in a sealed cover to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Tuticorin, who shall hand over the same to the CBI.
- The post-mortem doctors are awaiting the Chemical Analysis, Histopathological examination and Microbiological examination reports, the Court noted. Only upon receipt of those reports, can the final opinion be given. Therefore, the Dean, Tirunelveli Medical College, has been directed to send the final opinion, to the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Tuticorin, who, in turn, shall hand over the same to the Investigating Officer of the CBI.
- A copy of the final opinion shall also be sent to this Court in a sealed cover. The Director, Tamil Nadu Forensic Sciences Laboratory, Chennai, is directed to give top priority to the examination of the materials sent by the post-mortem doctors, so that they can give their final opinion at the earliest.
- The Judicial Magistrate No.I, Kovilpatti, shall send a copy of his report to this Court in a sealed cover and keep the original report with him in safe custody. The same is to be handed over to the Investigating Officer of the CBI.
- The Court has also directed that the police case files pertaining to the original case against Jeyaraj and Bennix, as well as the case files concerning their custodial deaths, should be handed over to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Tuticorin, who, in turn, shall hand over the same to the Investigating Officer of the CBI.
The Court has now ordered for the deputation of certain officials to aid the Magistrate in collecting materials and carrying out the probe in this custodial death case. In this regard, the order stated,
“Therefore, we direct the District Collector, Tuticorin, to depute Revenue Officers to the Sathankulam Police Station, for the purpose of preserving the clue materials. In this regard, we also direct the Assistant Director of Mobile Forensic Science Laboratory, Tuticorin, to immediately go the Sathankulam Police Station, to collect the clue materials and assist the learned Judicial Magistrate No.I, Kovilpatti. If necessary, a team of forensic science experts from the Regional Forensic Science Laboratory, Tirunelveli, may also be requisitioned.”
Additional Advocate General K Chellapandian is expected to tell the Court tomorrow whether this scheme is being continued or not. The suo motu case will be taken up again tomorrow when the Court is expected to be briefed on schemes in place to address the psychological needs of policemen and their family.
Read the order related to the transfer of the instant custodial death case to CBI here :