Sathankulam custody deaths akin to caste killings, says HC

Sathankulam custody deaths akin to caste killings, says HC

Kaushik Kannan | TNN | Nov 2, 2020

[Sathankulam Custodial Deaths] Prima facie, sufficient material for Murder Case against Policemen involved: Madras High Court

Madurai: Observing that the Sathankulam custodial deaths case can be equated to caste killing cases, Madurai principal sessions court denied bail to an accused cop saying the police, like the petitioner, wanted to assert the power of supremacy.

The court was hearing the petition filed by suspended police constable S Chelladurai, who was arrested in connection with the custodial deaths of P Jeyaraj and his son J Beniks at Sathankulam in Tuticorin district.

“The reason being that in the caste killing cases, it is the assertion of communal supremacy. In this case on hand, it is about power supremacy and in both the cases, one individual wants to have complete control over the other, which is not permissible in a civilized society,” observed judge G Ilangovan.

He said the Supreme Court’s recent observation that the general principle is “bail is a rule and jail is only an exception” cannot be applied to caste killing cases.

The court can simply reject the bail application on the ground that if he is released on bail and allowed to roam freely in the society, there is every likelihood of him using the power, once enjoyed during his service, to subvert the trial proceedings. Simply because the petitioner is a lower rung police officer, he cannot be released on bail on this ground.

When it comes to assertion of supremacy power, it knows no rungs and this court is of the view that the petitioner has to face the trial in custody and deserves no consideration for bail, the judge said.

During the course of hearing, the petitioner submitted through his counsel that he was not on duty at the time of occurrence as alleged by the prosecution.

He was relieved from duty by evening itself and he had reported for duty only the next morning. He has not involved himself in any occurrence as alleged by the prosecution and sought bail.

Objecting to the grant of bail, the special public prosecutor for CBI cases submitted that the petitioner caught hold of the deceased at the time of occurrence.

The petitioner along with other accused brutally tortured and caused death of the deceased duo.

He submitted that the postmortem report also states that Jeyaraj and Beniks would have died due to complications from blunt injuries sustained by them.


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