Sattankulam custodial deaths: “You should be in jail for some time more”, says SC to suspended cop; issues notice on bail plea

THE Supreme Court Tuesday issued notice on a bail plea filed by suspended police official P. Raghu Ganesh, an accused in the custodial death of trader P. Jayaraj and his son J. Benicks, even as it searingly remarked, “this is a case where you should be in jail for some time more”.

“You beat the father and son black and blue. Very bad case”, Justice Vineet Saran said to Ganesh’s lawyer, senior advocate Anjana Prakash when she insisted on an immediate listing of the bail plea.

Prakash informed the court that her client had filed a petition to transfer the case from Tamil Nadu and notice had been issued by the Supreme Court. To this, Justice Saran said that was no reason to grant an urgent listing for the bail plea.

The custodial death of the father and son had sparked outrage in Tamil Nadu leading the state government to transfer the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

In its charge-sheet against the nine policemen, the CBI said trader P. Jayaraj and his son J. Benicks were subjected to brutal torture by the policemen, knowing full well that it was sufficient to cause their death.

The investigation revealed that as part of a criminal conspiracy hatched by the accused policemen, Jayaraj was picked up from his shop on June 19, 2020 at 7.30 p.m. and lodged at the police station. Benicks, the son, rushed to the station to enquire about the arrest and objected to his father being beaten up. An altercation followed; the two were wrongfully confined at the police station and beaten up in order to teach them a lesson on how to behave with the police. The torture continued for several hours throughout the night, the CBI said.

The Madras High Court, having taken cognisance of the case on the petition filed by the wife of deceased, had initially ordered a video-graphed postmortem of the deceased as well as a magisterial inquiry. The court has since been monitoring the investigation.