The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered a fresh post-mortem examination of a student who died a day after being released from police custody, The Indian Express reported.
The family of the student, 21-year-old Manikandan, alleged that he died due to police torture. The student’s mother Ramalakshmi approached the High Court seeking a fresh post-mortem examination and an investigation into his death.
Justice GR Swaminathan directed that the second post-mortem examination should be conducted at Ramanathapuram Government Hospital. He also ordered that the procedure be video recorded and told the police to ensure law and order.
The judge also noted that the police personnel present before the court were unaware of judicial guidelines on conducting post-mortem examinations, The Hindu reported. He verbally asked Additional Advocate General Veera Kathiravan to inform the director general of police about the guidelines.
The court said that the guidelines stipulated that in such cases, two doctors who hold Master’s degrees in forensic medicine and are attached to a medical college hospital should conduct the examination.
On December 4, police personnel in Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram district detained Manikandan after he allegedly refused to stop his vehicle on being asked to do so. His friend Sanjeev, who was travelling with him, fled.
Manikandan’s mother Ramalakshmi alleged that he was beaten up and dragged to the police station. She said that she was later called and asked to take him home.
Ramalakshmi alleged that her son was not in a stable condition and was murmuring that police personnel beat him up. Manikandan died around 1.30 am, after which his body was taken to Mudukulathur Government Hospital.
On the other hand, Ramanathapuram Superintendent of Police E Karthik claimed on Monday that Manikindan was not ill-treated and that there were no injury marks on his body, according to The Indian Express.
He added that the student was foaming at the mouth when he died, which may have been because he consumed poison. The officer said that the cause of death can only be ascertained once the results of the second post-mortem examination are out.