The Supreme Court has declined to grant bail to two police officers – inspector S Sridhar and sub-inspector P Raghu Ganesh – in connection with the custodial murder of trader P Jayaraj and his son J Bennix in June 2020 by Sathankulam police in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district.
“Having heard Learned Senior Counsel(s) for petitioners, Learned ASG KM Nataraj & Senior Counsel Indira Jaising for the complainant and considering the facts & circumstances, at this stage, we are not inclined to interfere with the High Court’s order refusing bail,” said the division bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari.
Representing the cops, Senior Advocate S. Nagamuthu told court that the duo did not die due to the injuries at the police station but due to respiratory illness and heart ailment.
Representing the woman complainant who lost her husband and son, Senior Advocate Indira Jaising said to the top corut that the chargesheet had records of CDR locations that proved physical appearance of the accused(s) at the time of torture.
“They were in the Police Station. There can be no denial of the fact of their Police Station & the precincts of the Police Station where the torture had occured,” Jaising said.
Jayaraj and Bennix were taken into custody on June 19 last year on the allegation that they had kept their mobile phone shop open beyond the permissible hours during the lockdown. They were brutally tortured in police custody, leading to their deaths.
The custodial murders sparked large scale public outrage the country.