Sathangulam case June 30 th full order judges p n Prakash b pugalenthy We place on record our appreciation to the DistrictCollector, Tuticorin, for deploying senior Revenue officers in the Sathankulam Police Station in compliance with our yesterday’s order. Post on 02.07.2020 (Thursday). sd/- 30/06/2020 / TRUE COPY /
[6/30, 16:44] Sekarreporter 1: BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT
(Special Original Jurisdiction)
Tuesday, the Thirtieth day of June, Two Thousand and Twenty
THE HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE P.N. PRAKASH
THE HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE B. PUGALENDHI
Suo Motu W.P. (MD) No.7042 of 2020
The Registrar (Judicial),
Madurai Bench of Madras High Court,
Madurai. … Petitioner
1 The State of Tamil Nadu
represented through its
Superintendent of Police,
2 The Inspector of Police,
Sathankulam Police Station,
3 The Superintendent,
Kovilpatti Sub Jail,
4 The Dean,
Medical College Hospital,
6 Murugan … Respondents
Petition praying that in the circumstances stated therein and
in the affidavit filed therewith, the High Court will be pleased to
issue a writ of mandamus directing the first respondent to submit a
[6/30, 16:45] Sekarreporter 1: 10 When we were inclined to appoint Mr. Praveen Kumar Abinapu,
I.P.S., as the Investigating Officer of the case and expressed our
mind, he submitted that he is in charge of three districts and that
he is required to maintain law and order, especially during the
present trying times. We found sufficient justification in his
submission. When we wanted to know the names of the officers
manning the CB-CID, Tirunelveli, Mr.Arun Balagopalan, I.P.S.
informed us that one Mr. Anil Kumar, is presently the Deputy
Superintendent of Police, CB-CID, Tirunelveli, who was previously in
the Special Branch, C.I.D. Considering the track record of Mr.
Anil Kumar, we appoint him as the Investigating Officer of the case.
In this regard, we are fortified by the judgment of the Supreme
Court in State of Tamil Nadu and others vs. Elephant G. Rajendran
11 Mr. Anil Kumar, D.S.P. shall forthwith take charge of the
investigation in Kovilpatti East P.S. Cr. Nos.649 and 650 of 2020
and proceed further without waiting for any formal order from the
Director General of Police, Chennai. The Superintendent of Police,
CB-CID, Tirunelveli, shall monitor the investigation.
12 That apart, in view of the sordid turn of events, viz., the
report of the learned Judicial Magistrate No.1, Kovilpatti and the
preliminary post-mortem reports, we are constrained to modify the
directions issued by us yesterday (extracted supra) as under:
(a)The learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Tuticorin or
the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kovilpatti, as
the case may be, shall hand over the Case Diaries in
Kovilpatti East P.S. Cr. Nos.649 and 650 of 2020 to
Mr. Anil Kumar, D.S.P., immediately.
(b)The learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Tuticorin or
the Superintendent of Police, Tuticorin, as the case
may be, shall hand over the Case Diary in Sathankulam
P.S. Cr. No.312 of 2020 to Mr.Anil Kumar, D.S.P.,
(c)The learned Judicial Magistrate No.I, Kovilpatti, on
completion of his enquiry, shall furnish the original
report to Mr. Anil Kumar, D.S.P., and forward a copy
of it in a sealed cover to this Court.
13 Today, we handed over to Mr. Praveen Kumar Abinapu, I.P.S.,
a copy of the report dated 29.06.2020 of the learned Judicial
Magistrate No.I, Kovilpatti and the preliminary post-mortem reports
of Jayaraj and Bennicks that were received by us yesterday, in
partial modification of paragraph no.4(i) of our order dated
1 (2019) 14 SCC 29
[6/30, 16:45] Sekarreporter 1: 29.06.2020 and he is directed to hand over the same to Mr. Anil
Kumar, D.S.P. We also direct the learned Judicial Magistrate No.I,
Kovilpatti, to hand over the original statement of Revathy, Head
Constable, Sathankulam Police Station, to Mr. Anil Kumar, D.S.P.
after retaining a copy of it on his file.
14 In our opinion, the ante-mortem injuries found on the
bodies of the deceased, coupled with the averments in the report of
the learned Judicial Magistrate No.1, Kovilpatti, especially the
statement of Revathy, Head Constable, would be prima facie enough to
alter the case to one under Section 302 IPC against the Sathankulam
policemen who were actively involved in the investigation of the
case in Cr.No.312 of 2020. In this regard, it would be in the
interests of justice to have the statement of Revathy, Head
Constable, recorded under Section 164 Cr.P.C. by a Judicial
Magistrate, other than the Judicial Magistrate No.1, Kovilpatti and
Judicial Magistrate, Sathankualm. Meanwhile, the District
Collector, Tuticorin, shall immediately ensure the safety of Revathy
and her family members. She may even be granted leave from duty as
we fear that there will be attempt to intimidate her and make her
resile from her version given to the learned Judicial Magistrate
15 One may wonder as to why it took this long for this Court
to make the above observations. Public indignation cannot be the
barometer for judicial orders. Public memory is short, but,
judicial orders, especially those of the High Court, which is a
Court of record, live for ever. Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor
committed the blunder of condemning Jesus Christ to death based on
public outcry in a sham trial that was held before dawn and
thereafter, washed his hands off with water. We cannot afford to
emulate him. Hitherto, in the absence of credible materials, we
were handicapped and now that, we have at hand some prima facie
incriminatory materials, we decided to fill the gap via our above
16 We fervently hope that Mr. Anil Kumar, D.S.P., will have
before his mind’s eye, the river of tears flowing from the eyes of
the family of the two deceased and take up the investigation of the
case in all earnestness for wiping their tears. He should also bear
in mind that we are closely monitoring the case.
17 It is always open to the State Government to revisit the
idea of entrusting the matter to the C.B.I., if it is satisfied that
Mr. Anil Kumar, D.S.P. is proceeding on the right lines.
18 We place on record our appreciation to the District
Collector, Tuticorin, for deploying senior Revenue officers in the
Sathankulam Police Station in compliance with our yesterday’s order.
Post on 02.07.2020 (Thursday).
/ TRUE COPY /
Sub-Assistant Registrar (C.S.)
Madurai Bench of Madras High Court,
Madurai – 625 023.
1 THE PRINCIPAL DISTRICT JUDGE, TUTICORIN.
2 THE JUDICIAL MAGISTRATE No.1, KOVILPATTI.
3 THE JUDICIAL MAGISTRATE,
SATHANKULAM, TUTICORIN DISTRICT.
4 THE CHIEF JUDICIAL MAGISTRATE,
5 THE CENTRAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, MADURAI.
6 THE CHIEF SECRETARY,
GOVERNMENT OF TAMIL NADU,
SECRETARIAT, FORT ST. GEORGE,
CHENNAI 600 009.
7 THE DISTRICT COLLECTOR, TUTICORIN.
8 THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE,
CHENNAI 600 004.
9 THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE,
SOUTH ZONE, MADURAI.
10 Mr.PRAVEEN KUMAR ABINAPU, I.P.S.,
D.I.G., TIRUNELVELI RANGE.
11 Mr.ANIL KUMAR,
DEPUTY SUPERINTEDENT OF POLCIE,
12 THE SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE,