Custodial death: Madras HC directs Villupuram Collector to exhume body

Chennai, May 18 (IANS) The Madras High Court has directed the Villupuram District Collector to exhume the body of a person who was alleged to have died due to custodial torture, by the district police.

A single judge bench of the Madras High Court of Justice R. Sakthivel, passed the order on Saturday based on a writ petition by R. Anju, the wife of the deceased K. Raja.

According to the Villupuram police, they had arrested Raja with 10 bottles of liquor in a plastic bag on April 10 morning near a liquor shop at Tirupachavadimedu and released him on station bail the same day.

However, Anju said that her husband was beaten up at the police station and the police had released him on station bail on the same day fearing that he may die due to the beating.

The petitioner told the court that her husband had visited a primary health centre and then reached home.

He complained of chest pain at home and was rushed to the Villupuram government hospital where he died on the same day.

She also said that her husband had narrated his ordeal at the police station to her.

The court directed the Tamil Nadu Home Secretary to secure the CCTV footage of Villupruam police station from 6 a.m. on April 9 to 6 p.m. on April 11.

The court also directed the Director of Medical Education and the Dean of Villupuram Government Medical College Hospital to nominate forensic experts from the Madras Medical College in Chennai and KAP Viswanathan Medical College in Tiruchi for conducting the re-postmortem.

Justice Shakthivel during the argument said, “If the re-postmortem is conducted and the results are negative, it would only enhance the reputation of the police among the public. Therefore in the interest of justice, the re-postmortem must be conducted.”

The court also said that if a re-postmortem needs to be done on the spot of the burial ground, an X-ray should be done mandatorily to find out the antemortem injuries, if any, on Raja’s body.

–IANS

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