Supreme Court denies Bail In Sathankulam Custodial Death Case

In the matter of the Sathankulam Custodial death case, the Supreme Court denied granting bail to the two accused policemen. Mr. P Jayaraj and his son Bennix were killed while they were in custody of the Police, in Sathankulam town of Tamil Nadu.

The Police had arrested the father and son because they had kept the shop open till 8.15 p.m. on the 18th June 2020 amidst the COVID – 19 lockdown. Bennix owned a small mobile shop and on that day of 18th June he had crossed the deadline by which the shop should have been closed. On the 19th June 2020, the Police threatened his father Jayaraj and took him to the police station after which Bennix went to rescue his father. However, the police booked both Jayaraj and Bennick under Section 188 and 353 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) thereby taking them in custody

The two were brutally beaten up while in custody for two (2) days without any proper medical treatment which brought them death while in custody. The post mortem report stated that both Jayaraj and Bennix were also sexually abused. The police, however, denied any act of brutality and stated that the two died of illness.

The case was earlier being investigated by the Criminal Investigation department (CID) and later transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). A judicial inquiry regarding the death of the two is being conducted under Section 176 of the CrPC by the Magistrate of the Kovilpatti Court.

While a Bail plea has been filed in the Supreme Court, the Bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari have declined the grant of Bail to the accused policemen stating that relief “cannot be granted at this stage”.

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