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MRS. ANGAMMAL versus STATE OF TAMIL NADU

High Court of Madras

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Mrs. Angammal v. State of Tamil Nadu - Writ Petition No. 16603 of 1995 [2002] RD-TN 594 (16 August 2002)



IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS



Dated: 16/08/2002

Coram

The Hon'ble Mr. Justice P. SATHASIVAM

Writ Petition No. 16603 of 1995

Mrs. Angammal,

W/o. Kannusamy Thevar,

16, Masilamani 3rd Street,

Tuticorin-8. .. Petitioner. -Vs-

1. State of Tamil Nadu,

represented by Secretary to

Government, Home Department,

Fort St. George, Madras-600 009.

2. The Inspector of Police,

All Women Police Station,

Tuticorin Town, V.O.C. District.

3. The Sub Collector,

Tuticorin. .. Respondents. Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, for issuance of a Writ of Mandamus as stated therein.

For petitioner: Mrs. Geeta Ramaseshan.

For respondents: Mr. S. Kandaswamy, Special

Govt., Pleader for respondents 1 and 3. For 2nd Respondent :Mrs. Karoline Geetha and Mr. J. Pothiraj :ORDER



The petitioner has approached this Court to issue a Writ of Mandamus directing the State of Tamil Nadu, Home Department-first respondent herein to pay a sum of Rs.5,00,000/- to her as compensation for the death of her daughter Parvathy.

2. The case of the petitioner is briefly stated hereunder: According to her, she has four daughters and her youngest daughter was Parvathy. The said Parvathy developed a relationship with one Karuppasamy who is a married man. Because of the relationship of Parvathy with the said Karappusamy, the latter's wife filed a complaint before the Inspector of Police, All Women Police Station, Tuticorin Town-2nd respondent herein. Pursuant to the said complaint, her daughter was taken to the 2nd respondent Police Station for interrogation. Thereafter, she was informed that her daughter committed suicide in the bathroom of the 2nd respondent Police Station. Her daughter Parvathy was 29 years old and she was dependent on her. Her daughter had not committed any offence. The second respondent has no jurisdiction to entertain a complaint for the alleged act of adultery. The police people in the 2nd respondent station detained her daughter, tortured her, then finally killed her. The action of the second respondent is violative of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. In such a circumstance, he is entitled to a compensation of Rs.5 lakhs from the first respondent for the death of her daughter.

3. Pursuant to the notice issued, Deputy Secretary to Government, Public Department, Chennai-9 has filed a counter affidavit on behalf of the first respondent. It is stated that on 1-7-95 at about 21.00 hours Tmt. Parvathy, 25 years, daughter of Kannusamy Thevar was brought to the All Women Police station, Tuticorin on a complaint given by one Tmt. Muthumalai, wife of Karuppusamy. As the complainant was not available in the Police Station at that time, the said Parvathy was allowed to stay in the Varandah of the police station on her request. In the meantime, she wanted to go to the bathroom and told the woman police constable that she was in her periods. She was allowed by the woman police constable to go to the bathroom. As she did not come out from the bathroom even after 15 minutes, the woman police constable opened the door of the bathroom and found that Parvathy was hanging from the roof of the bathroom. A case was registered in All Women Police Station Crime No. 20/95 under section 174 Cr.P.C. and subsequently transferred to Sub Collector, Tuticorin and an inquest was conducted by the Sub Collector, Tuticorin. A Magisterial Enquiry under PSO 145 was ordered into the alleged death of the said Parvathy. In the meantime, the Government appointed a Commission of Inquiry headed by Thiru V. Sethusolayar, a retired District Judge to enquire into the death of Parvathy. The Commission of Inquiry in its findings has stated that the death of Parvathy was only due to suicide committed by her hanging herself and not due to torture by police. The Commission has not recommended for any compensation. The Government after careful examination of the report of the Commission, to clear certain doubts, referred the matter to the State CB CID and the CB CID has reported that there are evidence, oral, documentary and scientific and medical available to prove the death of Parvathy may be suicide by hanging due to dejection in her way of life and, therefore, suggested that further action may be dropped. The Government has accepted the findings of the CB CID and dropped further action in this case. Even though adultery is not a cognizable offence, the police can advice parties and prevent breaking of families. Inasmuch as all the enquiries proved that the death of the deceased was due to suicide by hanging, the petitioner is not entitled to compensation.

4. The second respondent who was working as Inspector of Police, All Women Police Station, Tuticorin at the relevant time has filed a counter affidavit reiterating the stand taken by the first respondent. 5. In the light of the above pleadings, I have heard the learned counsel for the petitioner as well as respondents.

6. Mrs. Geeta Ramaseshan, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner appointed through Legal Aid Centre, would contend that though the petitioner is not challenging the outcome of the One Man Commission appointed by the Government, and the report of the State C.B C.I.D., the summoning of a lady to the Police Station for an alleged offence of adultery (Section 497 IPC) is not warranted. She also contended that since the death had occasioned within the police station, irrespective of the findings of the One Man Commission as well as the report of the State CB CID, the petitioner, being the mother of the deceased Parvathy, is entitled to compensation from the State. 7. On the other hand, learned Special Government Pleader, after drawing my attention to the entire records relating to the report of the One Man Commission, report of the State CB CID and all other materials, would contend that in the light of the factual conclusion that the death was due to hanging and not due to negligence or torture at the hands of the personnel in the second respondent Police Station, the petitioner is not entitled to any amount of compensation.

8. I have carefully considered the rival submissions. 9. Admittedly, the daughter of the petitioner namely Parvathy was brought to All Women Police Station, Tuticorin-2nd respondent herein for an enquiry. It is also not disputed that one Karuppasamy, who is a married man enticed her daughter Parvathy, and due to which, the wife of the former filed a complaint before the second respondent. In this regard, learned counsel for the petitioner vehemently contended that for an offence of adultery under Section 497 I.P.C. being a non-cognizable offence, there is no need to summon her to the police station. This aspect has not been disputed by the first respondent. In the counter affidavit of the first respondent, particularly in para 7, it is stated that "?.In the instant case, the deceased had illegal intimacy with Mr. Karuppasamy. Even though adultery is not a cognizable offence the police can advice parties and prevent breaking of families?.." In the counter affidavit filed by Mrs. V. Sudharani, the then Inspector of Police, All Women Police Station, Tuticorin-second respondent herein, she has stated in para 5 that,

"On 1-7-95 I deputed one Gr.1 WPC. 71 Mary Anitha to the said village where Parvathy and Karuppasamy were staying and asked them to come to the police station for an enquiry. When I was at the police station on 1-7-95 at about 21.00 hrs Parvathy came to police station along with Gr.1 WPC. Mary Anitha??" It is clear from the statement of the Deputy Secretary to Government, Public Department, Chenna-9 (para 7) and the Inspector of Police-2 nd respondent herein (para 5) that on the basis of the complaint of the wife of Karuppasamy, the deceased Parvathy was taken to the police station on 1-7-95 at about 21.00 hours for enquiry. I have already referred to the fact that even though adultery is a non-cognizable offence, the woman police constable attached to the 2nd respondent police station took the deceased Parvathy to the police station at 21.00 hours for enquiry. When there is no compulsion under law to enquire her at the police station, I am of the view that there was a procedural irregularity on the part of the woman police constable working in the second respondent police station.

10. Though the petitioner has stated that her daughter Parvathy died due to torture at the hands of the second respondent, in the light of the factual particulars culled out from the Postmortem certificate, and the report of the One Man Commission who is none else than the Retired District Judge, as well as the report of the State CB CID, holding that the death was due to hanging and not due to torture by police, I am unable to accept the said contention. As a matter of fact, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner has fairly admitted that she is not challenging the findings of the One Man Commission as well as the report of the State CB CID. In such a circumstance, it is unnecessary for me to go into the other aspects leading to the cause of the death once again in this writ petition.

11. Now I shall consider whether the petitioner is entitled to any compensation from the first respondent. I have already referred to the stand taken by the learned counsel for the petitioner that she is not questioning the report of the One Man Commission as well as the report of the State CB CID, holding that the death was due to suicide, committed by Parvathy by hanging herself and not due to torture by police. However, in the earlier part of my order, I have concluded that based on the complaint made by the wife of Karuppasamy that her husband had been enticing with Parvathy, she (Parvathy) was taken to the second respondent Police station for enquiry. In this regard, it is relevant to refer the Proviso to Sub-section (1) of Section 160 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Though sub-section (1) of Section 160 of the Code enables any police officer making an investigation under Chapter XII of the Code, by order in writing, to require the attendance before himself of any person being within the limits of his own or any adjoining station, who from the information given or otherwise, appears to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case; and such person shall attend as so required, the Proviso to sub-section (1) says that no male person under the age of 15 years or woman shall be required to attend any place other than the place in which such male person or woman resides. I have already referred to the admitted factual position that adultery is not a cognizable offence and hence there is no need to take her to the police station. Though it is stated and established that it was Parvathy who stayed in the Verandah and committed suicide in the bathroom of the police station, as stated earlier, the procedure adopted by the Women Police in summoning her to the police station for an enquiry in connection with a non-cognizable offence is irregular. In such a circumstance, the victim can be compensated by awarding suitable monetary benefits. In our case, according to the petitioner, the deceased Parvathy was her fourth daughter and at the relevant time she (her daughter Parvathy) was aged about 29 years old. According to her, her daughter was doing coolie work in a salt pan and she was depending on her income. At the time of filing of the writ petition in 1995, the petitioner was aged about 65 years. If that is so, as on date, the age of the petitioner is fixed as 72. In the normal circumstance, it is but proper for the petitioner to make a representation to the Government for appropriate monetary relief. Inasmuch as the petitioner approached this Court in 1995 for necessary relief due to death of her daughter, and the writ petition is kept pending for 7 years, and now she is aged about 72 years, I am of the view that in order to mitigate further loss of time, this Court itself can fix an amount of compensation and issue direction to the first respondent. Considering the age of the deceased being 29 years and the petitioner being the mother of the deceased is waiting for the result of this case for the last seven years, the ordeal experienced by her and also of the fact that in all fatal accidents cases, a minimum compensation of Rs.50,000/- is being awarded now, I am of the view that ends of justice would be met by directing the first respondent to pay a compensation of Rs.50,0 00/- (Rupees Fifty thousand only) to the writ petitioner. Since the petitioner requires reasonable amount for her survival, the Government is directed to invest the said amount within 8 (Eight) weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this Order in any one of its Public Sector Undertakings/ Financial Institutions/ Corporation and the periodical interest accrued therefrom may be paid directly to the petitioner namely Mrs. Angammal. Net result, the Writ Petition is allowed in part to the extent mentioned above. No costs.

16-08-2002

Index:- Yes

Internet:- Yes

R.B.

To:-

1. The Secretary to Government,

Government of Tamil Nadu, Home Department,

Fort St. George, Madras-600 009.

2. The Inspector of Police,

All Women Police Station,

Tuticorin Town, V.O.C. District.

3. The Sub Collector,

Tuticorin.

P. SATHASIVAM, J

Order in

W.P.No. 16603 of 95.




Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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