Tamil Nadu

HC transfers probe into ‘custodial torture case’ to CB-CID

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has transferred the probe into the case of alleged custodial torture of a youth in Saptur and his death to the CB-CID. The court said the move should not be deemed to cast any aspersion on the rights and defences of police, but it was to unearth truth.

Justice G.R. Swaminathan, who had earlier ordered a re-post mortem in the case, issued a series of guidelines for conduct of post mortems in cases involving custodial deaths. “A dead person is equally entitled to justice. I would call it posthumous justice. Whenever someone suffers an unnatural death, the circumstances that led to it will have to be unearthed,” the judge observed.

The court directed the CB-CID to complete the probe within four months and submit a final report before the jurisdictional court. In its directions, the court said the Judicial Magistrate conducting the enquiry under Section 176(1)(A), Cr.P.C., should ensure that the family of the deceased or its representatives were allowed to see the body and take video and photographs.

No autopsy should take place before the next of kin saw the body. If the family of the deceased refused to see the body, the Judicial Magistrate could allow post mortem.

The autopsy should be carried out by a team of two doctors with Master’s degree in Forensic Medicine, who were attached to a medical college and hospital in the State.

The body should be x-rayed to look for any fractures. The entire autopsy should be vidographed by adhering to the six phases set out in ‘A Textbook of Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology’ 26th Edition, edited by Justice K. Kannan.

The autopsy report should be given to the investigating officer expeditiously to avoid delay in filing of the final report. A copy of the report and videograph should be given to the legal heir or representatives of the family of the deceased.

If after receipt of the autopsy report, the legal heir/representatives of the family of the deceased gave in writing that they intended to move the HC, the body should be preserved in the mortuary for at least 48 hours, the judge said.

The court was hearing the petition filed by K. Santhosh, brother of Ramesh, 20, who was found hanging from a tree allegedly after custodial torture.

It is said that their elder brother Idhayakani had eloped with a relative girl, and her family filed a complaint with Saptur police. The petitioner alleged that they were subjected to torture by the police on a regular basis in the name of inquiry and sought a re-post mortem and a CB-CID probe.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 5:07:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-transfers-probe-into-custodial-torture-case-to-cb-cid-saptur-madurai/article33243045.ece

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