Tamil Nadu

₹10.5 lakh for custodial death victim’s family

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He died in Periyakulam in Theni district in 1995

The Madras High Court has directed the State government to pay a compensation of ₹10.5 lakh to the wife, son and three daughters of a person who died in police custody in Periyakulam, now in Theni district, on April 5, 1995.

It ordered that the money be paid within 45 days along with interest at the rate of 9% per annum from the date of death.

Justice S. Vaidyanathan passed the order while allowing a writ petition filed by the victim Pandian’s wife P. Amaravathi in 2006. He made it clear that if the compensation was not paid within the stipulated time, the entire amount would be recovered from the personal accounts of the officials responsible for implementing the order along with interest at the rate of 12% a year.

The judge pointed out that the crime had taken place in Periyakulam before the bifurcation of Madurai district to form Theni as a separate district in 1996. Hence, the then Madurai Collector had recommended criminal action against an Inspector of Police, Pandia Raja, and Sub Inspector of Police J. Rajendran for causing the death of Pandian in police custody.

Accordingly, the two policemen were prosecuted and the Inspector died during the course of trial. However, a Sessions Court convicted the Sub Inspector on June 16, 2003 and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

Though the conviction was set aside by the High Court Bench in Madurai, Mr. Justice Vaidyanathan said the order of acquittal had been passed not on merit but only by according the benefit of the doubt to the accused. Therefore, such an acquittal would not absolve the State from compensating the family of the victim of custodial death, he concluded.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 4:26:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/105-lakh-for-custodial-death-victims-family/article19694650.ece

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