The Madras High Court last week disposed off a plea seeking a direction to the state police to strictly adhere to the top court's mandate in its 2013 Lalitha Kumari decision and ensure immediate registration of FIR in cases of Police excesses relating to Jayaraj and Benniks custodial deaths.
In the wake of the recent horrific custodial deaths of a father-son duo in the state, the petitioner prayed for guidelines, directions or standard operating procedures to be followed by the DGP, SPs and their subordinates in cases of police excesses, besides immediate registration of FIR in cases where police persons are the alleged offenders. In the aforesaid judgment, the apex court had directed in unequivocal terms that Registration of FIR is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code, if the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation.
Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and P. Rajamanickam of the Madras High Court noted that the petitioner came forward to file this writ petition, styled as a Public Interest Litigation, alleging certain lapses as to the non-registration of the First Information Report, despite the complaint lodged by the close family members, which prima facie discloses the commission of cognizable offence namely, the commission of the offence of murder.
On paying its "anxious consideration" to the arguments advanced by the counsel appearing for the petitioner, the division bench opined that this Court, on the Judicial side, has already taken suo motu cognisance of and is dealing with the aspects of the tragic demise of father and son, namely, Jayaraj and Benniks.
Accordingly, it was of the view that this plea is not necessary and closed it accordingly, granting liberty to the petitioner to intervene and render necessary assistance, both factually and legally, to this Court in its suo motu writ petition.
In connection with the Jeyaraj-Bennicks custodial deaths, the same bench has, last week, required the court-appointed IO - a CB-CID DSP - to file his status report by July 27 in a sealed cover.
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