HC wants Sathankulam custodial deaths case completed in 4 months

P Jeyaraj and his son J Bennix died in June in 2020 allegedly due to torture by the Sathankulam police, Thoothukudi district.
P Jeyaraj and his son J Bennix
P Jeyaraj and his son J Bennix

MADURAI: The Madurai bench of Madras High Court on Monday granted the trial court’s request for additional time and ordered to complete the prosecution in the Sathankulam custodial deaths case within a period of four months.

P Jeyaraj and his son J Bennix died in June in 2020 allegedly due to torture by the Sathankulam police, Thoothukudi district.

It’s unfortunate that Jayaraj, who was arrested on June 19 by the Sathankulam police, died on June 22 as a result of physical torture by the police. His son, Bennix, who approached the Sathankulam police station following the arrest of Jayaraj, also suffered similar physical torture and died in the morning of June 23.

After their deaths, the aggrieved Selvarani, wife of Jayaraj, had already filed a petition before the High Court to expedite the trial and arrest those involved in the crime. The High Court then directed the lower court in Madurai to conduct a fair trial and complete it within six months.

Meanwhile, counsel on behalf of the trial court said out of 105 total witnesses in the case, only about 55 to 60 witnesses have so far been examined. The trial is being prosecuted twice every week in the lower court. A total of ten police personnel, including the then Inspector Sridhar were arrested in connection with the custodial deaths of the father –son duo and one of them died during the trial. Since the counsel defending the accused in the case is cross examining the witnesses, it’s causing delay in the trial. Citing these, the counsel sought additional time of four months to further proceed in the case.

Justice K Murali Shankar, after hearing, granted the additional time and directed to complete the trial in four months.

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