Chennai: The Madras high court has directed the chief judicial magistrate, Coimbatore, to nominate a judicial magistrate to conduct an inquiry into the death of Palanisami, who was working as a cashier in lottery baron Martin's establishment and died allegedly under mysterious circumstances in Coimbatore on May 4.
A division bench comprising Justices C. V. Karthikeyan and Krishnan Ramasamy gave the directive while closing a habeas corpus petition (HCP) filed by Rohin Kumar, son of the deceased Palanisami.
The bench said when there is a custodial death, section 176 Cr.P.C (inquiry by magistrate into cause of death) has been suitably amended and it has been laid down that inquiry by the judicial magistrate mandatory. When a specific provision has been laid down in Cr.P.C, the petitioner has approached this court by way of HCP. "We feel no reason why sufficient confidence cannot be placed on the judicial magistrate to inquire into the entire circumstances surrounding the unfortunate death of the father of the petitioner", the bench added.
The bench said, "Without expressing any opinion on the nature of death or the circumstances surrounding the death, we direct the chief judicial magistrate of Coimbatore to nominate a judicial magistrate to conduct an inquiry in accordance with the provisions of 176 (1A) of Cr.P.C.". Liberty was given to the petitioner or his advocate to participate in the inquiry and make their representation before the nominated Judicial Magistrate, the bench added. Referring to the direction given by the court earlier to give a specific report with regard to two injuries found on the body of the deceased, the bench recorded the clarification given by the doctor that they were only injuries normally found on the decomposed body when the death was by drowning....