Chennai: There is enough evidence of assault on the bodies of Jayaraj and his son Bennix, the Madras High Court said on Tuesday, adding that the prima facie proofs can lead to registration of murder case against police officers.
"There is prima facie evidence of having case registered against police officers who assaulted the father-son duo," the court said.
The Tamil Nadu government told the court that police officers were hostile with inquiring magistrate "because of immense pressure on them". It is shocking to see how the inquiring judicial magistrate was treated by police officers in Sathankulam police station, the court noted.
It asked if the CBI could take up the death inquiry immediately. "Jayaram's family believes justice will be delivered. Not a second should be wasted. Until the CBI takes this up, can the Tirunelveli DIG begin the investigation?" court asked the government, while giving it time till noon to respond.
P Jayaraj and his son Bennix, arrested for 'violating' lockdown norms over business hours of their cellphone shop, died at a hospital in Kovilpatti on June 23, with the relatives alleging that they were severely thrashed at the Sathankulam police station by police personnel earlier.
The incident had triggered a furore in the state, leading to the suspension of four policemen, including two sub-inspectors.
The Madras High Court had taken up the case and ordered a video recording of the post-mortem after the relatives of the two men moved the court.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had announced Rs 10 lakh each to the family of the deceased and a government job to one person from the family, based on their qualification.