A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in Supreme Court to issue directions to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami to refrain from holding the portfolio of state’s Ministry of Home Affairs till the investigation in Tuticorin custodial death case gets completed.
The PIL was filed by Cuddalore based advocate A Rajarajan seeking directions to Crime Branch-CID to investigate the role of the state CM Palaniswami’s role in screening and safeguarding the accused in the father-son duo custodial death case in Tamil Nadu.
The petitioner states in his petition that inspite of the fact that Madurai bench of Madras High Court has taken the suo moto cognizance of the matter and interim orders passed, CM Palaniswami has given a statement on June 24. He stated that traders Jayaraj and Bennix has died due to physical illness and not due to police torture.
“The chief minister’s statement is highly improper, condemnable to law as police had not even started the investigation as per the provisions of the CrPC till June 30. Even the magisterial inquiry to determine the cause of the death was at a preliminary stage, “said Rajarajan.
He further added, “free and fair investigation is not at all possible under the administrative leadership of Palaniswami who is heading the home department and further the role of (Palaniswami) in screening and safeguarding the person accused of 302 IPC by using his official capacity have to be investigated.”
Rajarajan has also suggested in the petition to frame charges against the CM Edapaddi K Palanswamy under the relevant IPC provisions for using his official capacity to screen and protect the accused in the case.
Jayaraj and Bennix were arrested on June 19 by Sathankulam police alleged of violating the lockdown rules as they had kept their phone shop open for 15 minutes above the allowed time. Bennix was admitted to the hospital on June 22 and died on the same day. Then the father, Jayaraj was admitted to the hospital and he took his last breath at around 5.40 AM on June 23.