Lankan detainee torture case moved to Ernakulam court

The case booked for allegedly making a Sri Lankan detainee lie down on a hot iron plate used for cooking chapathi while in Indian Coast Guard (ICG) custody will be considered by a trial court in Ernakulam.

The Kerala High Court had transferred the case to the Judicial First Class Magistrate I, Ernakulam, considering the plea of the complainant and the limitations of the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court (CJM), Thiruvananthapuram, in probing the alleged instance of custodial torture.

L.Y. Nandana, 46, of Nakulugamuwa, Sri Lanka, who was arrested by the ICG along with five others from fishing vessel Ravihansi from Arabian Sea on March 25 this year, is the complainant. The investigating agencies had seized large quantities of drugs and AK 47 guns and ammunition from the vessel.

The petitioner had complained that he was brutally beaten up by five ICG officials with iron rods in Ship No.11 for five days and on the fifth day, he was made to lie in a supine position on a heated iron plate inside the vessel. He reportedly sustained several burn injuries on his back side in the incident. The complainant, who said he could not name the accused, had affirmed that he could identify those who tortured him.

Though the CJM had asked for the details of ICG officers who were on duty from March 17, 2021 to March 22, the ICG Commandant had not filed any report on the officials.

The alleged incident of torture came to light when K. Biju Menon, the Additional Sessions Judge, Thiruvananthapuram, ordered a probe by the CJM, Thiruvananthapruam, on noticing the burn injuries on the body of the accused, who was produced in the court for the extension of his remand.

Later, the counsel for the complainant submitted that the court had no jurisdiction to try the case as the alleged offence was committed in the Exclusive Economic Zone. The counsel also submitted that the Judicial First Class Magistrate I, Ernakulam, was the competent court to try the case. The CJM had also approached the Kerala High Court expressing its limitation in probing the case, citing jurisdictional issues.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 5:37:10 am |