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Kerala High Court Expresses Dissatisfaction Over Reinstatement Of Excise Officials Accused In A Custodial Death Case

Hannah M Varghese
3 Nov 2021 6:30 AM GMT
Kerala High Court Expresses Dissatisfaction Over Reinstatement Of Excise Officials Accused In A Custodial Death Case
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The Kerala High Court on Tuesday expressed dissatisfaction over the reinstatement of seven Excise officials who were accused in a custodial death case. Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan after hearing the parties involved observed:"I'm not satisfied with the stand of the respondent. File an affidavit regarding the reinstatement of the party respondents when they are accused in a murder...

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The Kerala High Court on Tuesday expressed dissatisfaction over the reinstatement of seven Excise officials who were accused in a custodial death case. 

Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan after hearing the parties involved observed:

"I'm not satisfied with the stand of the respondent. File an affidavit regarding the reinstatement of the party respondents when they are accused in a murder case, that also based on a recommendation from the Excise Department itself."  

The matter has been accordingly listed on 26th November for further consideration by which time the respondents have been directed to file an affidavit.

This observation came in a plea moved by the wife of the deceased, Renjith Kumar; he died in Excise custody two years ago. She had challenged the Government Order directing to withdraw the suspension of certain officers in the Excise Department who were accused in the custodial death case.

The Excise officials had taken the deceased Renjith Kumar into illegal custody on October 1, 2019, from Guruvayur for allegedly being in possession of two kilograms of ganja.

He was taken to a godown of a toddy shop in Thrissur district and thereafter brutally assaulted, it is alleged. Kumar succumbed to his injuries that evening, according to the charge sheet.

The petitioner submitted that the accused, who are excise officials, were facing prosecution before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Ernakulam. Hence, withdrawal of suspension from the service and their reinstatement in the same department were argued to be illegal.

The Court agreed with the stand of the petitioner and condemned their reinstatement into service, adding that this would not have happened if it was an ordinary citizen accused of murder. 

Case Title: Nessi P v. State of Kerala

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