The Tamil Nadu Government has decided to transfer the investigation of the Sathankulam twin custodial death case to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The move comes after the Director General of Police requested the Government to transfer the case to the CBI, in order to facilitate a free and fair investigation.
In a notification issued on Monday, Additional Chief Secretary to the TN Government, SK Prbakar stated,
"The Government, after careful consideration, have decided to accept the request of the Director-General of Police, Tamil Nadu, and to transfer the case registered in Kovilpatti East Police Station Crime Nos.649/2020 and 650/2020 under Section 176 (1-A) (i) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, for investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation, by issuing a notification under section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946."
Accordingly, a Notification will be published in the Tamil Nadu Government Gazette.
While hearing the suo moto case registered by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court to probe into the incident, the Division Bench of Justice PN Prakash and Justice B.Pugalendhi had also remarked, "to transfer or not to transfer the case to the C.B.I., is the policy decision of the State Government."
Shri. Jeyaraj and his son, Shri. Bennicks were arrested by the Sathankulam police on June 19, allegedly for violating lockdown restrictions and further for misbehaving with on-duty police personnel. The two were remanded to Judicial custardy at Sub Jail, Kovilpatti, on June 20, 2020, and died on the following days, allegedly due to police excesses and lack of proper medical care.
The police administration has already placed two Sub-Inspectors at the Sathankulam Police Station under suspension, and action has been taken against two Head Constables, who were allegedly associated with the custodial deaths.
During the course of hearing of the suo moto case, the High Court was informed that the police personnel in the Sathankulam Police Station were not cooperating in the Judicial Inquiry for collecting clue materials.
Transfer of matter to the CBI is intended to ensure that the matter is dealt with fairly.