P Jayaraj and J Beniks
MADURAI: The Madras high court on Monday said the Tamil Nadu government need not seek its permission to transfer to the CBI the custodial death case of a father-son duo at Sathankulam in Tuticorin district as it is a policy decision.
The high court is monitoring the case after taking suo motu cognizance of the deaths of P Jayaraj and his son J Beniks. The case was to be taken up for hearing on June 30.
On Sunday, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami stated that the government would transfer the case to the CBI after obtaining the HC’s nod.
On Monday, additional advocate general (AAG) K Chellapandian made a mention submitting that the state government was going to transfer the case to the CBI after getting a formal nod of the court since the HC has taken suo motu cognizance and is monitoring this case.
A division bench of Justice P N Prakash and Justice B Pugalendhi observed that the state government need not seek permission from the court as it was purely a policy decision of the state government to transfer the investigation to the CBI and the court does not have any say in the matter. Hence, the judges said it was open to the state government to proceed with the process of transferring the case to the CBI.
The judges said the Tuticorin principal district judge, who is closely monitoring the case, informed that personnel at the Sathankulam police station were not cooperating with the Kovilpatti judicial magistrate (JM) inquiry.
Hence, the judges directed the Tuticorin district collector to depute revenue officers for taking control of the police station for collecting relevant materials. The judges also directed the assistant director of the forensic department to send a forensic team to assist the JM in collecting the materials. The case was adjourned to June 30, Tuesday, for further hearing.