Gokulraj Murder: Two Madras High Court judges to visit temple where victim was last seen alive

Justices MS Ramesh and N Anand Venkatesh said they will visit the Arthanareeswarar Temple in Tiruchengode on Sunday to understand topography of the place.
Justice MS Ramesh and Justice Anand Venkatesh
Justice MS Ramesh and Justice Anand Venkatesh

Justices MS Ramesh and N Anand Venkatesh of the Madras High Court, who are hearing a batch of appeals challenging the trial court judgement in the 2015 Gokulraj Murder case, will visit the temple in Tiruchengode, where the deceased was last seen alive.

The two judges are likely to visit the Arthanareeswarar Temple in Sunday, January 22, to "understand the topography" of the place.

The bench said that an inspection would help it "understand the topography of the place, check the number of entrances and exits, and also, the location of the closed circuit television cameras (CCTV)" installed there, considering that several doubts had been raised by the appellants regarding the CCTV footage procured from the spot, the location of the cameras etc.

Gokulraj, an engineering student, went missing on June 23, 2015. He was last seen along with a woman friend at the Arthanareeswarar temple at Tiruchengode. Later, his headless body was found by the railway track in Tamil Nadu's Namakkal district.

The case was initially considered a suspicious death but was later changed to murder after the postmortem showed that the victim was strangled.

It was later proved in court that Gokulraj had been killed as he was a Dalit, and the woman he was allegedly in a relationship with, belonged to the dominant 'Gounder' community.

In March last year, a Special Sessions Court in Madurai had sentenced ten persons, including the prime accused Yuvaraj, to life imprisonment in the case.

On December 1 last year, the bench had initiated suo motu contempt proceedings against Swathi, the woman Gokulraj had been in the alleged relationship with after she refused to identify herself in a CCTV footage in which she could be seen walking with Gokulraj hours before his death.

The court will hear the appeals further on January 27.

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