Tuticorin custodial deaths: Will transfer case to CBI after Madras HC nod, says Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami

Earlier on June 27, the ruling AIADMK and opposition DMK announced a solatium of Rs 25 lakh each to the next of kin of father-son duo.

Tuticorin custodial deaths: Will transfer case to CBI after Madras HC nod, says Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami
File Photo (ANI)

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Sunday (June 28) said the state government will seek permission from the Madurai bench of Madras High Court to transfer the Tuticorin custodial deaths of father-son duo P Jayaraj and J Fennix case to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The CM said that the appeal would be made to the court in the next hearing on the matter, that would take place on June 30.

"After getting approval from Madras High Court, seized of the matter, the case will be transferred to CBI," the CM said on Sunday.

The incident dates back to June 19 when Jayaraj and Fennix were detained and later booked in Sathankulam in Thoothukudi district for allegedly violating lockdown norms by keeping their mobile shop open for longer hours, thus defying the night curfew. 
 
The duo was booked under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 353 (use of force to deter public servant from duty) 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), and 506(2) (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
 
The victims' family members claimed that they had no knowledge of their arrests and came to know about it on June 22, when P Jayaraj was admitted to the Kovilpatti jail. The family alleged that both were brutally thrashed and subjected to extreme torture by police personnel while in custody.

Jayaraj and Fennix were admitted to Kovilpatti government hospital on June 22. Due to continuous bleeding and severe external and internal injuries from alleged lock up torture, Fennix died late evening on June 22, while his father Jayaraj died in the wee hours on June 23.

The Madurai bench of Madras High Court on June 26 asked Kovilpatti judicial magistrate to visit Kovilpatti branch jail, photograph administrative and medical records related to the case and CCTV recordings of the jail building. 

The Superintendent of Police (SP), Thoothukudi on June 26 submitted a status report at the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on June 26 in connection with the alleged custodial deaths of a father-son duo.

The SP, who appeared through video conferencing, also said that the post mortem procedure had been completed but the report could not be submitted due to the curfew being in place.

Meanwhile, the judicial magistrates of Kovilpatti and Tuticorin conducted an inquiry on Saturday at the Kovilpatti sub-jail on the instructions of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High court.

The Madurai bench of Madras High court, which suo moto heard the case on Friday (June 26) ordered the magistrates to collect photographic records of entries and the CCTV footage of the dates that the father-son duo was at the sub-jail

According to reports, two Senior Inspectors have been suspended while departmental action is also being taken against two chief guards of the jail.

Earlier on June 27, the ruling AIADMK and opposition DMK announced a solatium of Rs 25 lakh each to the next of kin of father-son duo.

In a joint statement, CM K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam said on behalf of the party that the two deaths were saddening and unfortunate and announced Rs 25 lakh to the bereaved kin.

On the other hand, DMK's leader and Tuticorin MP Kanimozhi too handed over a cheque for Rs 25 lakh to the family on Friday while demanding an inquiry by the National Human Rights Commission into the deaths.