Custodial death: HC order to probe ‘lapse’ of Idukki magistrate

Custodial death: HC order to probe ‘lapse’ of Idukki magistrate


The case of custodial death in the sub-jail at Peerumedu in Idukki district took a new turn with Kerala High Court ordering a probe against the Idukki magistrate.Rajkumar, who was running a small finance firm, was taken into custody where he died allegedly due to torture.

The court ordered a probe to investigate why the magistrate remanded the accused Rajkumar even when his condition was serious. The autopsy report confirmed several injuries, including a few due to 'uruttal', a torture method prevalent during Emergency days where a wooden log was rolled over the thighs of the victim by police.

The court felt that based on the autopsy report, the condition of Rajkumar was serious even before he was remanded.The magistrate should have ordered a medical examination before the victim was remanded. The court directed the Thodupuzha chief judicial magistrate to produce the report.

Rajkumar was remanded on June 15 and the Nedumkandam Police had taken the accused from the station to the Nedumkandam court where the magistrate was on leave. As a result, the accused was produced before Idukki magistrate Rashmi Ravindran who ordered his remand.

The accused died while in custody leading to a serious controversy alleging custody death. It is believed that the accused was badly manhandled even before being taken to the magistrate. Even as the charge of torture in custody remains, the court has ordered to look into whether there were lapses on the part of the Idukki magistrate.

According to reports, Rajkumar' condition was so bad that he was unable to walk and the magistrate had to come to the vehicle to examine him. She immediately ordered remand.

Foul play is allegedly as police were said to have fake medical reports saying Rajkumar had no injuries. For this, a medical report from Nedumkandam hospital was procured, though hospital authorities assert that no such document was given.

The autopsy report says that besides fracture of four ribs of Rajkumar, his body had 14 cuts and seven contusions. This all the more confirms torture before he was produced in front of the magistrate.

While Rajkumar's dealings were suspect, his torture has shaken the Government. To add to this was the controversial comment by Electricity Minister MM Mani that Rajkumar was a 'cheat'.