Advocate Anjana Prakash, representing the petitioner submitted that her client was not present at the station during the time of the crime. The counsel argued that one of the accused died due to COVID-19 while in custody, and pressed for consideration of the bail plea during the vacation.
When Prakash pressed for an urgent listing of the bail plea filed by sub-inspector, Raghu Ganesh, the justices noted that this was a case where a father and his son were brutally “beaten black and blue” to death in custody for merely violating lockdown norms. On June 19 2020, Jayaraj and Bennix were taken into custody on the allegation that they had kept their mobile phone shop open beyond the permissible hours during the lockdown. After their death in custody, the Tamil Nadu government handed over the investigation to the CBI, which chargesheeted nine police personnel in connection with the case.
“Our investigation revealed that the father-son duo was arrested on the evening of June 19 and was allegedly tortured at the Sathankulam police station by the accused in the evening as well as in the intervening night, consequent to which both of them succumbed to the injuries and died in the intervening night of June 22 and June 23,” The CBI had said.
The bench declined the urgent listing of the bail plea during the vacation and said that there was an eyewitness to prove that Raghu Ganesh was involved in the crime. Raghu Ganesh had moved to a higher court challenging the Madras High Court’s order, but got his bail application dismissed. The top court bench has listed the matter for hearing after the summer vacation, which ends on June 28.