If the recent Supreme Court ruling encourages the oppressed class who face police atrocities to come forward and press charges, it will be a great step forward for enforcing human rights.
“My daughter committed suicide due to police torture under illegal custody in June this year. I have been waging an endless war demanding that the authorities take action against the police officials responsible for her death, but in vain,” says Periyaswamy from Thunkapuram of Perambalur, the father of victim Vasuki.
Police had allegedly booked Vasuki under a false theft case, took her to the station for inquiry and tortured her. Unable to face the humiliation she committed suicide, says Periyaswamy. When Vasuki’s family asked the police to file an FIR on her death, they refused to register the case, but after the family members staged protest refusing to accept her body, a case was grudgingly registered under section 174 (suspicious death) of IPC.
Since the police haven’t filed a FIR so far, Vasuki’s parents have moved the Madras High Court seeking direction to register a case under Section 306 (abetment to commit suicide) against the police personnel who were responsible for her death. “Our family might not benefit directly from the new Supreme Court ruling, but it will help marginalised people like us to launch a fight against the police,” Periyaswamy added.
In the case of Mugilan of Uthangudi, a VCK functionary, the Ottakadai police allegedly booked him under a false charge because he joined issue with them for not filing a case under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act), 1989 against a caste Hindu, Satish, who had made his child defecate in front of Dalit woman Dhanalakshmi’s house at Uthangudi on October 10 last.
When Dhanalakshmi raised her objection, Satish abused her and made derogatory remarks (referring to her caste name) and also assaulted her. But police refused to file a complaint and tried to work out a compromise. Since Dhanalakshmi sought Mugilan’s help, he represented her case with the police. “Because I asked the police to file an FIR on the case under the SC/ST Act, they tortured me in illegal custody and booked a false case against me when my relatives gathered around the station,” claims Mugilan.
“I have a sent a complaint against the police officer to senior officials, but so far no action has been taken against them. Now I will again approach them to file the case, invoking the recent Supreme Court ruling,” he says.
Pandimuthu (52), father of Kumar who allegedly died in police custody, said that though the SC has directed the police to registered FIRs for all cognizable offences, there is a need for a monitoring mechanism to ensure the police conducts proper investigation. “My son was killed by the police in connection with Sub-inspector Alvin Sudan murder case. I didn’t file a police complaint because I knew the police won’t take proper action against a member of their fraternity. I went straight to court,” he said.