Madras High Court seeks Tamil Nadu government’s response on status of Police Well-being Programme

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has sought the State government’s response on the status of Police Well-being Programme after a mention was made before the court stating that the programme had gone into cold storage.

A Division Bench of Justices P.N. Prakash and R. Hemalatha sought the government’s response while hearing the 2020 suo motu case initiated in connection with Sattankulam custodial deaths of trader P. Jayaraj and his son J. Benicks.

The court had directed the State to continue the Police Well-being Programme for five years. The programme was initiated in 2018 in collaboration with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, for a duration of three years.

Only through such programmes could violent propensity in individuals be stymied, the court had observed while directing the State to allocate necessary funds for continuation of the programme.

The court had further said a few bad apples here and there should not be a reason to condemn the entire force of around 1.25 lakh personnel in the State, who were in the forefront, battling COVID-19 pandemic. Any form of violence was the product of a sick mind. Those responsible for the death of Benicks and Jayaraj should not go scot-free, and at the same time we could not afford to lose any more Benicks and Jayarajs to violence, it had said.

The government should not abandon the programme midway, because public security could be ensured only if the police force was physically, mentally and morally strong, the court had observed.

The court closed all impleading petitions filed in the case. The main suo motu petition and the contempt petition against three policemen in Sattankulam for not cooperating with the Judicial Magistrate, Kovilpatti, during an inquiry were adjourned.

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Printable version | Jul 21, 2022 8:47:40 pm |