Don’t Harass Thoothukudi Residents In The Name Of Enquiry And Investigation, Madras HC Tells Police
Expressing its concern about the loss of valuable human life in the police firing at Tuticorin, the Madras High Court has directed the police to refrain themselves from harassing any family members of the accused in any of the cases registered by the police in connection with Sterlite unit.
Police shooting had killed about 11 protesters who were agitating the construction of Unit II of its Sterlite copper plant in Thoothukudi in south Tamil Nadu.
Advocate C Thangapandi had approached the high court by filing a PIL seeking a direction to the police not to harass the residents of Tuticorin and Tirunelveli districts. He alleged that the members of his association are being harassed physically and mentally by the police under the guise of enquiry and that his wife was threatened by the police by trespassing into his residence during night hours.
A bench of Justice MV Muralidaran and Justice T Krishnavalli observed that as the Sterlite Copper Unit in Tuticorin is closed by the state government, there cannot be any further agitation or procession from any premise.
Observing that the allegations raised in the PIL were serious in nature, the bench issued following directives:
- The respondents are hereby directed to ensure that the enquiry and investigation conducted by the Police in the cases registered relating to the Sterlite Copper Unit as per the procedures contemplated under the guidelines issued by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of DK Basu's case. In case, if any violation is found the authorities concerned should initiate legal action against the erred officers;
- The respondents are further directed to ensure that the residence of Tuticorin and Tirunelveli are not subjected for harassment under the guise of enquiry and investigation. Further, the inmates and family members of the named accused in any of the cases registered in this regard shall not be disturbed or harassed by the Police under the investigation.