The victim was beaten up resulting in him losing his consciousness. Later, he was dragged to a toilet adjacent to the police station and then sent to the hospital.
In a case of custodial death at the Odiansalai police station in Puducherry in 1993, the Madras HC on Monday, upheld the conviction and sentence of six police constables and a doctor for doctoring the post-mortem report nearly 18 years after a sessions judge had found them guilty.
Justice MV Muralidharan while upholding the 2002 order of the II additional sessions Judge, said, “As rightly held by the trial Judge the statement recorded by the Executive Magistrate under section 176 of Cr.P.C. can be used for corroboration as well as contradiction. In this case, the statements given before the Executive Magistrate are corroborated with the evidence of 31 prosecution witnesses. It is important to note here that the said evidence has not been disowned by the accused.” “Further the evidence of the sole eye witness in the above crime has been clearly corroborated by the other witnesses and therefore his evidence cannot be thrown out merely because he happened to be the sole eye witness of the crime,” the judge added.
As per the case, Alakar sekar, resident of Kandoctor Thoppu was taken to the Odaionsalai police station in connection with a prostitution case on 29 December, 1993. But he was beaten up indiscriminately resulting in him losing his consciousness. Subsequently, he was dragged to a toilet adjacent to the police station and later transported in an auto to the Government Hospital, where he was declared dead. The trial court after considering all the material evidences found the said police personnel guilty and sentenced Sundararaj, Devaraj and Lakshmanan to undergo seven years of rigorous imprisonment for culpable homicide while police personnel Sundararasu, Devaraju, Lakshmanan and the doctor, who conducted the first post-mortem, was sentenced to undergo one-year rigorous imprisonment. The charges against the then sub-inspector of the station, Gopal Chander, arrayed as the first accused, was abated following his death during the trial. Justice Muralidharan while dismissing the appeal moved by the seven persons also held, “This is a case of custodial death and it is seen from the records that the discrepancies found between the 1st and 2nd post-mortem reports, in the considered opinion of this court, are the basis for the prosecution case to make it fit for consideration. There cannot be much difference between two post-mortem report unless manipulation is made in any one of the post-mortem reports.”
The judge on slamming the police for taking law into their hands and failing to act within the ambit of law, said, “Nowadays people are apprehensive to visit a police station for even lodging a complaint, because they have lost faith in the police.”