The Madras High Court on Tuesday noted that based on initial post mortem reports, there were grounds to charge the policemen of the Sattnakulam police station with murder for the deaths of a man and his son arrested in Sattankulam, Tamil Nadu on June 22. The two—P Jayaraj and J Bennicks—had died after alleged torture on the night of June 19-20 at the police station.
To avoid any delay in investigation of the case, the High Court inquired if CB-CID could investigate it till CBI takes over it. The court took this line after a judicial magistrate had complained to the HC that the policemen in the Sattankulam station were uncooperative when he had gone there to gather evidence of torture. There were also attempts to wipe off blood marks from the lathis used by the police and on the table where the two deceased had been made to lie down, he said.
Following the report of the magistrate, the HC initiated contempt action against Deputy Superintendent of Police C Prathapan, Additional Deputy Superintendent of Police D Kumar and police constable Maharajan for obstructing the enquiry. Constable Maharajan is said to have told the magistrate, “You cannot do anything to us,” using a crass Tamil phrase. It also ordered the revenue officials to take charge of the police station in order to safeguard the evidence.
The court is expected to pass orders later in the day.