Sathankulam police refuse to co-operate with probe

Madurai Bench of Madras High Court

Chennai: Taking serious note of Kovilpatti Judicial Magistrate’s report that Thoothukudi District police was doing everything within their command to prevent him from proceeding with the enquiry into the custodail deaths of a father-son duo due to police torture at Sathankulam, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Monday initiated suo motu criminal contempt case against three police personnel.

The three personnel included an Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) and the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of the district.

A Division Bench comprising Justices P.N.Prakash and B.Pugalendhi observed that unless the State government intervene immediately to transfer ASP D Kumar, DSP C Prathapan and other policemen in Sathankulam Police Station, it will be very difficult for a free and fair investigation and enquiry into the deaths.

Coming down heavily on the police, the Judges directed the ASP, DSP and police constable Maharajan to appear before the court today.

They also directed the Additional Advocate General, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Tirunelveli range) and the Thoothukudi District SP to appear before the court.

The Judges said the Kovilpatti JM in his report said Kumar and Prathapan made themselves available in Sathankulam police station and in their very presence, the other policemen were taking videos of the Magisterial proceedings.

The policemen did not gave the records sought by the JM and the police constable Maharajan made a very disparaging remark against him.

“We are of the opinion that the report submitted by the JM is sufficient for us to take cognizance of criminal contempt on our own motion under Section 15 (1) read with Section 2 (c) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 against the ASP, DSP and the police constable,” the Judges said.

 

NT Bureau