The Madras High Court on Tuesday said a plea to form a team of forensic experts led by Prof. P. Chandrasekaran to assist in the investigation of the death of the Dharmapuri youth E. Ilavarasan, cannot be acceded to in toto. However, it is open to the authorities to invite him to extend his expertise in the probe.
A Division Bench, comprising Justices V. Dhanapalan and C.T. Selvam, passed the order on a petition by Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol. Thirumavalavan.
The petitioner said Ilavarasan’s death had created suspicion. His body was found near a railway track in Dharmapuri on July 4. It was only four days after his death that the police released a suicide note alleged to have been written by the youth. This created suspicion. Some police officials were tying to close the case relating to the death as ‘suicide.’ Hence, there was a need for a forensic expert to assist in the investigation to find out the truth. The nature of death, scene of occurrence, post-mortem certificates, inquest report, the letter allegedly written by Ilavarasan and other relevant material necessarily needed to be examined by an independent forensic expert. Hence, a team headed by Prof.Chandrasekaran, a former Director of the Forensic Science Department, Chennai, should be formed to assist the investigators.
The government countered that there was no necessity for a team of forensic experts headed by Prof. Chandrasekaran as the forensic science department would utilise all the services of experts concerned, if needed, in the probe. There would be no lacuna in the investigation. The probe was being monitored by the Dharmapuri Superintendent of Police. Disposing of the petition, the Bench said though the petitioner’s prayer was to ensure that there was a clear investigation, the same would rest with the authorities. Only in case of any kind of bias or lack of certain process, the petitioner could claim such assistance from experts. Now, investigation was in a premature stage.
The court observed the petitioner had suggested a very eminent forensic expert awarded the Padma Bhushan. He was a person respected by society and he would extend maximum assistance if his expertise was really required, but it was not for the court to give any direction to the government in this regard. It was open to the government to take such a decision and if it was so taken, the grievance of the petitioner and the affected persons would be redressed.