The Telangana High Court on Friday ordered a judicial inquiry into the alleged suicide of Pallakonda Raju, accused of the rape and killing of a six-year-old girl at Saidabad on September 9.
A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao and Justice T. Amarnath Goud has directed the 3rd metropolitan magistrate of Warangal to hold a judicial enquiry into the alleged suicide. The magistrate will record the statements of the witnesses and relatives of Raju and submit a report to the High Court registrar within four weeks.
The court also directed the government and the police to submit a copy of Raju’s post-mortem report to the principal district judge, Warangal, in a pen drive or compact disc by 8 pm on Saturday, who will hand it over to the registrar general of the High Court.
The division bench was dealing with a lunch motion petition filed by Gaddam Lakshman, president, Civil Liberties Committee. Venkanna, counsel for the petitioner, argued that this incident must be taken as a custodial death under Section 176 (1) (A) of the CrPC and a judicial inquiry be ordered as per the norms laid by the Supreme Court and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
He alleged that Raju was taken into custody by the police two days ago, when their parents and kin were confined in the police station. Minister K.T. Rama Rao had tweeted about this, had withdrawn it after being prompted by the police, he alleged.
He stated that minister Malla Reddy had given a press statement that Raju would be “encountered,” and the TRS LB Nagar legislator also made similar comments.
Advocate general B.S. Prasad said these were allegations that were based on apprehensions.
“There are seven witnesses who described it as suicide. The railway police recorded their statements. Konark Express train drivers also stated the same. The post mortem report stated it was a suicide. It is not a custodial death,” Prasad said.
To this, Justice Ramachandra Rao said the AG had made similar contentions in the death of the accused in the Disha rape and murder case. “When there is a dispute, it must be cleared,” he said.
“We are not ascertaining that it was custodial death. There is a suspicion, so the inquiry can be ordered by the judicial magistrate. You (the government) inquired about the incident only with the railway police which is an executive inquiry. To clear the doubts, we are ordering the judicial inquiry,” said Justice Ramachandra Rao.