Staff Correspondent

MYSORE: Failure on part of the revenue officials at village and taluk levels in conducting an inquest into the death of H.M. Manjunath, a farmer from Hospura village in Najangud taluk, has irked Mysore Deputy Commissioner P. Manivannan.

According to Mr. Manivannan, failure on part of the officials in conducting the probe has made it difficult for the district administration to provide justice to the farmer’s family.

Manjunath committed suicide on December 4, 2007, allegedly owing to harassment by ICICI Bank officials and loan recovery agents.

The Deputy Commissioner took serious exception to the fact that the revenue officials including, village accountants, revenue inspectors, secretaries of gram panchayat and members of gram panchayats were not following the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr. PC) in case of unnatural deaths in rural areas.

Mr. Manivannan passed an order on April 2 holding the officials accountable for such lapses.

In the order he observed that though it was mandatory for the revenue officials at taluk and village levels to report to the Sub-Division Magistrate and the local police inspector cases of unnatural deaths, the officials were not following the procedure.

In case of death under suspicious circumstances, lower level officials were expected to report to the Sub-Division Magistrate and police inspector under Section 174 and clause 3 of the Cr. P.C. with in 12 hours of the incident, he said. In case of failure on part of the official concerned to do so, the tahsildar could initiate disciplinary action against them, he said. Mr. Manivannan observed that failure on part of the officials in following the direction would deny the opportunity to the Sub-Division Magistrate to conduct inquest in the presence of witnesses.

Officials should inform the Sub-Division Magistrate about unnatural deaths, especially in case of suicide by farmers, and students, death of persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, death due to chemical explosion and any deaths due to unknown reasons, he added.