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Tamil Nadu Custodial Deaths: Madras HC Summons 3 Senior Police Officers, Files Case of Contempt

File photos of P Jayaraj, 60, and J Bennix, 31.

File photos of P Jayaraj, 60, and J Bennix, 31.

In another order, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court came down on the Santankulam police and directed the Thoothukudi Collector to instruct revenue officials to take control of the police station for collecting relevant documents with regard to the case.

Poornima Murali
  • CNN-News18 CHENNAI
  • Last Updated: June 29, 2020, 11:24 PM IST
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The details of a blatant display of insubordination in the P Jayaraj-J Bennix killings have come to light in a court order directing the registration of contempt proceedings against police officers who, in a standoffish manner, told a judicial magistrate inquiring into the deaths that he was absolutely powerless in the case.

Jayaraj, 60, and Bennix, 31, were arrested by Thoothukudi police on June 19 for keeping their shop open after permitted hours. Relatives claim Jayaraj who was in the mobile store was picked up by the police and verbally abused and assaulted. His son, Bennix​, had later gone to the police station to plead with the police to release his father. The duo was allegedly thrashed and a case was registered against them under IPC Sections 188, 383 and 506(II).

They were later taken to the Kovilpatti sub-jail. Three days later, the two died within a gap of 10 hours.

The derogatory use of words and the hostile posturing of three officers in the Thoothukudi police hierarchy has forced the Madurai Bench of the Madras High court to register a contempt case. The court has asked Additional Superintendent D Kumar, Deputy Superintendent C Parthipan and Police Constable Maharajan to appear before it at 10:30 am on Tuesday.


“We are of the view that unless the state government intervenes immediately to transfer the additional Superintendent of Police, Tuticorin, Mr C Prathapan, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Tuticorin and other policemen in Sathankulam Police Station, it will be difficult for a free and fair investigation and enquiry,” said the order.

The judicial magistrate in an email to the Registrar submitted a report saying the district police administration was preventing him from proceeding with the inquiry in the case.

In another order, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court came down on the Santankulam police and directed the Thoothukudi Collector to instruct revenue officials to take control of the police station for collecting relevant documents with regard to the case.

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