Debate over cause of Ilavarasan’s death continues to dominate proceedings

Five days have passed since the death of E. Ilavarasan, but the debate over the cause of his death and the validity of the autopsy on his body continued to dominate court proceedings on Tuesday.

Lawyers, politicians and activists seeking a wider probe locked horns in court as well as on the ground. A Division Bench of the Madras High Court, which is examining the question whether a second post-mortem examination is necessary, put off its order by a day.

The Bench, comprising Justices V. Dhanapalan and C.T. Selvam watched video footage of the autopsy in the presence of M.J.E. Ambroise, Additional Medical Superintendent and autopsy wing in-charge, JIPMER, Puducherry, and K.K. Shaha, Associate Professor, Department of Forensic Medicine, also from JIPMER, and V. Dekal, a doctor of the petitioner’s choice, and three other doctors from Government Hospitals. After viewing the video for two hours, the judges asked the doctors to give their individual opinions by 4.00 p.m. The petitioner is A. Ramesh, a friend of Ilavarasan, who sought a fresh autopsy.

Meanwhile, another writ petition was filed by Thol. Thirumalalavan, VCK chief who sought a direction to State to form a forensic expert team headed by Prof. Chandrasekaran, former Director of Forensic Department, Madras Medical College, to assist the investigation. The matter was urgently moved before the Bench in the afternoon by his counsel.

S. Prabakaran, counsel for petitioner, contended that a train travelling at a speed of 50 km and above would have thrown anyone it hit to a distance of at least 20 feet from the track.

But the youth’s body was found quite near the railway track. If the train had hit him, his lungs and heart would have been affected, but the autopsy revealed that the lungs and heart had suffered no damage.

Therefore, there was suspicion over the death.

He also said the police released a suicide note allegedly written by Ilavarasan four days after his death, suggesting that there was an attempt to close the case as a suicide. The Bench ordered notice to the State government on the VCK leader’s petition.

Later in the evening, the Judges had sittings in the chamber.

As the medical opinions of doctors who watched the video footage were available by then, they ordered that copies be furnished to the respective lawyers.

They adjourned the matter for further arguments and orders on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Bench also posted for hearing on Thursday a writ petition by Mr. Thirumalavalan that wanted lifting of the prohibitory order in Dharmapuri.

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