Jayaraj (L) and Bennix (R) died while in police custody earlier this year after being arrested citing a violation of the COVID-19 lockdown
Jayaraj (L) and Bennix (R) died while in police custody earlier this year after being arrested citing a violation of the COVID-19 lockdown
Litigation News

[Sathankulam custodial deaths] CBI files second status report in sealed cover; CFSL experts engaged, Madras HC told

The Court was also informed that CFSL experts engaged by the CBI have not been able to visit the site of the occurrence due to COVID-19 restrictions and since they are also investigating the Sushant Singh Rajput case.

Meera Emmanuel

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a second status report in a sealed cover on its investigation into the Sathankulam custodial deaths which is being monitored by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court.

After hearing submissions made in the matter this evening, the Court has adjourned the matter to be taken up next on September 22.

The Court was informed today that the CBCID has also filed a status report on the investigation into the case concerning the alleged custodial torture of one, Raja Singh.

Singh is alleged to have been tortured by two of the accused police officers in the Sathankulam case, i.e. SIs Ragu Ganesh and Balakrishnan. The Court recorded today that the CBCID has examined 28 witnesses so far, apart from collecting 12 documents as part of its investigation.

In so far as the contempt proceedings initiated by the Court against three other police officers for the non-cooperation with the judicial magistrate probing the Sathankulam custodial deaths, it was informed that the three contemnors have filed counter-affidavits.

Notably, the CBI today informed the Court that experts from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) have been engaged as part of its investigation in the case.

While recording the CBI's submissions, the Court also noted that the CFSL team has been unable to visit the site of the occurrence so far owing to the COVID-19 restrictions as well as since the team is also probing the investigation into the death of Sushant Singh Rajput.

The Sathankulam custodial deaths case involves allegations of police brutality, a mechanical remand by the judicial magistrate and inadequate medical treatment leading to the death of Jayaraj and Bennix while in police custody.

The two were arrested on June 19 citing a violation of the COVID-19 curfew. A judicial inquiry into their deaths, under Section 176, CrPC, is being conducted by the Judicial Magistrate No. 1, Kovilpatti. The investigation was earlier being handled by the CB CID until the CBI took over the probe in July.

The matter has been listed to be taken up next on September 22.

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