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Muthurakku v. The Superintendent of Police - Crl.O.P.(MD).No.6270 of 2007  RD-TN 2311 (13 July 2007)
BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT
DATED : 13/07/2007
THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE G.RAJASURIA
Crl.O.P.(MD).No.6270 of 2007
Muthurakku ... Petitioner Vs
1.The Superintendent of Police,
2.The Inspector of Police,
Thirusuli Police Station,
3.The Deputy Superintendent of Police,
Madurai. ... Respondents Prayer
Petition filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, to withdraw the investigation in Cr.No.95 of 2006 from the file of the second respondent and to transfer the same to the third respondent to investigate into the same and file final report.
For Petitioner ... Mr.R.Gandhi
For Respondents ... Mr.P.Rajendran Government Advocate (Crl. Side) :ORDER
This petition has been filed to withdraw the investigation in Cr.No.95 of 2006 from the file of the second respondent and to transfer the same to the third respondent to investigate into it and file final report.
2. Heard both sides.
3. The background facts which are absolutely necessary and germane for the disposal of this petition would run thus:
The police registered the case in Crr.No.95 of 2006 under section 176 Cr.P.C relating to the death of one Maruthan, the husband of the petitioner herein and probed into the matter. The Revenue Divisional Officer also conducted enquiry and subsequently, closed it as natural death due to heavy consumption of liqour.
4. Being aggrieved by and dissatisfied with, such an approach in closing the matter, this petition has been filed narrating the details relating to the death of Maruthan.
5. The gist and kernal of the averments in the petition would run thus:
The petitioner is the wife of the deceased Maruthan. In her statement to the Revenue Divisional Officer, she would detail that when she went to the Madurai Rajaji Government Hospital to see her husband, he told her that the police constable kicked him on his private part and chest.
6. What transpired from the records and the arguments is to the effect that the deceased Maruthan went to attend a public meeting on 28.06.2006 and while on his return, he had chosen to sleep in the bus stand. The police picked him up as a suspect and in Thirusuli Police Station, they beat him including on his private part and thereby, his condition became critical. Thereupon, the son of the deceased was asked to go to the police station and take his father away. The son of the deceased had chosen to take the deceased to one private Siddha clinic in Thirusuli where the deceased was advised to take treatment at Government Hospital, Aruppukkottai. However, the Medical Officer at Aruppukkottai Government Hospital directed the deceased to be taken to Madurai Rajaji Government Hospital immediately.
7. The petitioner's case is that the death of the deceased was due to custodial torture and that with a view to hush up the truth and to screen the offender even without proper post-mortem, immediately the dead body was sent to the village, but there, the people suspected foul play and staged a demonstration demanding impartial probe into the matter and for conducting inquest and post-mortem. Thereupon, the Revenue Divisional Officer intervened and inquest was conducted and post-mortem was also arranged.
8. The relevant portion in the post-mortem certificate is extracted hereunder for ready reference:
"Internal examination: Abdomen: foul smelled gas escaped on opening. Thorax: No fracture of ribs. Heart: Chambers empty. Flabby wt. 280 gms c/s congested. Lungs: Flabby wt. Right - 520 gms, Left - 490 gms c/s congested. Hyoid: intact. Stomach: empty. Liver: c/s congested. Spleen: wt. 140 gm c/s congested. Kidney: wt.140 gm c/s congested. Intestine: chambers with gas. Head: No fracture in skull bones. Sub Dural Haemorrhage + on both sides. Brain: Flabby c/s congested.
Final Opinion: The cause of death was due to Sub dural Haemorrhage. The death appears to have occurred 44 - 52 hrs prior to autopsy." (emphasis supplied.)
9. The Revenue Divisional Officer after examining the witnesses arrived at the conclusion as though the death of the said Maruthan was due to excessive consumption of liqour and not due to custodial torture. The relevant portion from his report is extracted hereunder for ready reference: "A perusal of the Postmortem report of Late.Mr.Maruthan states there was blood leakage in the brain of Maruthan. Whether this leakage was caused due to excessive drinking or due to his fall. The explanation for this was not clearly stated in the Medical Officer's Postmortem certificate. In this regard, the Police personnel - Constable Vijaykumar kicked Maruthan on his chest and in his private parts - was the statement made by Maruthan to his wife and his son. They, in turn made this statement. But the postmortem report submitted by the Medical Officers, did not state anywhere that there was any injury on the chest or on the private parts of Late. Mr.Maruthan. Dr.M.Mohanrajan, the Medical Officer of Aruppukottai Government Hospital was the Doctor who first gave treatment, states that there was no external injury on Maruthan. The deceased Thiru.Maruthan was an addict of an alcohol and became unconscious and fell down frequently. In this case no external injury or internal injury was seen on the body either by the relatives or by the Medical Officers of the Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai and also by the Medical Officers, Aruppukottai who conducted postmortem. No such complaint was made by his relatives to the Medical Officers at Madurai. Even prior to the postmortem of the body, the Medical Officers who gave treatment to Thiru.Maruthan was also reported that no injuries were found on the body. From the statement, obtained from the public and relatives, I could understand that the deceased will not injure apparently at all. The fact that Thiru.Maruthan was found unconscious near temple which is also nearer to the Police Station has been taken otherwise by the relatives of the deceased for the obvious reasons and it has been projected as if the deceased was tortured by police and was thrown out in front of police station. Nothing could be elicited from the relatives of the deceased for what reasons, the deceased was brought to the police station and what had provoked the police to torture the deceased. If the deceased was tortured as alleged by them, why it was not informed to the Medical Officers at Aruppukottai and also at Madurai at the time of admission and further treatment. I have to come to the conclusion that the complaint of torture is only an afterthought with a bad intention to get financial benefit as the deceased belongs to Schedule Caste. The Post mortem and viscera reports have also been perused. There are also no cases of report regarding the injury caused due to the torture of police.
In these circumstances, I am of the opinion that Thiru.Maruthan died due to heavy dose of liquor which developed his giddiness and other cause of attack to his life and that the complaint of police torture is false." (emphasis added)
10. The finding and conclusion of the Revenue Divisional Officer are not at all convincing. The approach relating to the custodial death has not been adhered to by the Revenue Divisional Officer. The reason furnished by him would ex facie show that he did not consider all aspects involved in the matter. If really, it is a case of natural death, it is not known as to why the police officials themselves have not referred him to the nearby Government Hospital, but they had chosen to entrust the deceased who was in a critical condition to his son and thereupon, driving his son to take his father to the nearby Hospitals and ultimately to Madurai Rajaji Government Hospital where the deceased succumbed to his injuries. Even thereafter, the police did not approach the Magistrate for immediate inquest and post-mortem and the conduct of the police smacks their guilty conscience.
11. Because of the intervention of the villagers of that locality, the Revenue Divisional Officer was constrained to intervene and thereupon alone, the inquest was conducted and the post-mortem also was done on the dead body. The medical evidence shows that there was Sub dural Haemorrhage on both sides and bleeding in the brain. There is nothing to show that mere excessive consumption of alcohol by itself had led to Sub dural Haemorrhage on both sides and bleeding in the brain.
12. The Revenue Divisional Officer himself arrived at the conclusion that the deceased might have fallen down and sustained such injury. If it is so, the question arises as to when and where he fell down. If so, why the police did not take steps. It is the case that from the bus stand, he was taken to the police station and at that time, he was conscious and that subsequently only he became unconscious.
13. These are all suspicious circumstances which should necessarily be probed into. The Revenue Divisional Officer mainly relied on the post-mortem report to the effect that there was no external injury including on his private part. It is rudimentary medical jurisprudential proposition that when a person is wearing clothes covering the private parts, if any injury is inflicted on the private part so to say, the genital organ of the male including the testis, there could be neurogenic shock and due to that, there could be brain damage. These aspects had not been considered at all in this case. The statements of witnesses as found set out in the Revenue Divisional Officer's report, a copy of which found enclosed in the typed set, would speak volumes against the conclusion arrived at by the Revenue Divisional Officer/the Executive Magistrate.
14. Taking into consideration the circumstances which acted as prelude to the death of the deceased Maruthan and the subsequent events, I am of the considered view that necessarily further probe into this matter is required. Accordingly, I would like to direct the third respondent, the Deputy Superintendent of Police, C.B.C.I.D., Madurai, to take up the matter and conduct impartial enquiry leaving no stones unturned.
15. With the above direction, this petition is closed. rsb
1.The Superintendent of Police,
Virudhunagar District, Virudhunagar.
2.The Inspector of Police,
Thirusuli Police Station, Virudhunagar District. 3.The Deputy Superintendent of Police,
4.The Public Prosecutor,
Madurai Bench of Madras High Court,
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