Tamil Nadu

High Court asks girl’s parents to receive body for last rites

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, which on Saturday heard a petition for a CB-CID probe into the death by suicide of a school girl who was staying at a Christian missionary hostel in Thanjavur, asked her parents to receive the body immediately for the last rites to be performed without any further delay.

Justice G.R. Swaminathan took note of the fact that the post-mortem was conducted by the forensic doctors attached to the Thanjavur Medical College Hospital. He said nothing emerged to doubt its credibility; hence, there was no need for a fresh autopsy.

The court directed the Thanjavur Collector to arrange for the body to be taken to her native place and the police not to interfere at the last rites. The parents agreed to receive the body.

The Principal District Judge, Thanjavur, was directed to nominate a Judicial Magistrate for recording the statement of the parents under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The statement shall be recorded on January 23 and a copy thereof submitted to the High Court in a sealed cover on January 24, the judge said.

He restrained the police from harassing the person who had shot the video of the girl in which she claimed she was being coerced into converting to Christianity. The police should focus on the circumstances that led to the suicide, he said. The hearing was adjourned till January 24.

In the petition, the parents alleged that she was forced to do domestic chores at the hostel and asked to convert to Christianity.

It was said the girl’s parents and a person, who shot the video, were being “pressured by the police”. The court had asked the police to conduct themselves appropriately so as not to give rise to such allegations.

( Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available on the State’s health helpline 104 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050 ).

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Printable version | May 17, 2022 12:00:50 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/high-court-asks-girls-parents-to-receive-body-for-last-rites/article38311292.ece