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Tamil Nadu custody deaths: Ground for murder case against cops, says court

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Chennai, June 30: The Madras High Court on Tuesday said there are grounds for filing a case against the police officials in connection with the custodial deaths of Father-son duo in the Tuticorin district of Tamil Nadu.

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The court ordered the transfer of investigation into the death of a father-son duo in Tuticorin, alleged victims of police torture, to the CB-CID, expressing fear that evidence could disappear by the time CBI took over the probe.

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    The bench sought the opinion of the state government on the interim arrangement but transferred the case to the CB CID.

    The post mortem report (preliminary) and Judicial Magistrate's report indicated there was prima facie material for registering a murder case in the matter, the bench said.

    The court said the probe of the case should not be delayed even by a second and directed the CB-CID to take up the probe immediately.

    On June 19, P Jeyaraj (59) and his son J Beniks (31) were picked up for questioning by the Tamil Nadu Police in Tuticorin's Sathankulam for allegedly violating lockdown rules. As per the police, the duo was held for keeping their mobile accessories shop beyond permissible hours on June 19 and an FIR was filed against the two on the same day.

    They were allegedly brutally thrashed by the police while in custody, leading to their deaths. While Fenix fell ill and died at the Kovilpatti General Hospital on June 22, his father died on the morning of June 23.

    According to the government order, the state decided to accept the request of Director General of Police to transfer the custodial death cases registered in Kovilpatti East Police Station under Section 176 (1-A) (i) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for investigation by CBI by issuing a notification under section 6 of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 to facilitate a free and fair investigation.

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