The Madras High Court Madurai bench has, on Tuesday - June 30, said that the police officers involved behind the custodial deaths of Jayaraj and Bennicks can be booked under murder charges as the evidence revealed that the father and son duo suffered brutal injuries under the police custody.
The High Court's assertion has come after the reports of the autopsy of Jayaraj and Bennicks were submitted before the bench on June 30. Based on the report, the court noted that the evidence suggests that the murder charges can be filed against the policemen behind the custodial torture and death, which sparked massive outrage across Tamil Nadu.
The High court bench comprised of Justices PN Prakash and Pugalendhi had directed the CBCID to initiate the probe until the CBI takes over the case. It stated that further delay in the investigation would result in tampering and destroying the evidence. The court ordered Tirunelveli CBCID Deputy Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar to take over the probe.
The Tamil Nadu government had, on Monday, transferred the probe into the custodial deaths to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). After the disclosure of the postmortem reports, the High Court had directed the CBCID to take over the case. Earlier, the government has suspended the inspector, sub-inspectors, and constable Maharajan of Sathankulam police station and transferred the rest of the police officers attached to the station.
On Tuesday, the state government has transferred Thoothukudi Superintendent of Police Arun Balagopalan and placed him under the waiting list in the wake of the custodial deaths. On Tuesday, Kovilpatti district magistrate Bharathidhasan has submitted his three-page report to the High Court.
According to the reports, Bharathidhasan visited the station on June 28 to record the statement of the police officers in the Sathankulam police station in connection to the custodial deaths. In his report, he said that the father and son duo was brutally beaten by the police throughout the night at the station. He stated that bloodstains were found in lathis and on the table at the police station and the police officers reportedly tried to tamper and destroy the evidence. The reports stated that the magistrate's report has become one of the crucial evidence in the custodial deaths of the father and son.