Hand over phone used to shoot video of Thanjavur girl: HC

Court also directs her parents to appear before investigating officer

Updated - January 25, 2022 07:19 am IST

Published - January 25, 2022 12:55 am IST - Madurai

Madurai, Tamil Nadu, 22/10/2019: A view of Madurai Bench of Madras High Court, in Madurai. Photo: R. Ashok / The Hindu

Madurai, Tamil Nadu, 22/10/2019: A view of Madurai Bench of Madras High Court, in Madurai. Photo: R. Ashok / The Hindu

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday directed that the mobile phone used to record a video of a Thanjavur schoolgirl, who recently died by suicide, be handed over to the investigating officer on Tuesday (January 25). The video, shot by Muthuvel, is being cited by the BJP to claim that there was an attempt by the authorities of the Christian missionary-run school, where the girl studied, to “forcibly convert her” to Christianity.

Justice G.R. Swaminathan also directed the parents of the girl and Muthuvel to appear before the investigating officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police R. Brindha, and give their statements at the Vallam Camp Office at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. The court directed the investigating officer to send the mobile phone, along with other materials, to the Forensic Science Laboratory in Chennai on the same day. The director of the laboratory shall give a report on the authenticity of the materials, the judge said.

Viscera report

The court also directed the Forensic Laboratory in Thanjavur to hand over the viscera report and the report on the girl’s post-mortem to the investigating officer by January 27. The copy of the statement given by the girl’s parents to the Judicial Magistrate was submitted to the court on Monday.

The judge directed that a copy of the statement be handed over to the investigating officer, and adjourned the hearing of the case till January 28.

The court was hearing a petition filed by the parents of the girl, who sought a CB-CID probe into her death. They alleged she was forced to do domestic chores at the hostel and asked to convert to Christianity.

The State government submitted that the statements of other students and faculty were being recorded. The mobile phone used to shoot the video was required for a forensic analysis.

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