A State Government Order dated July 8 appointing Justice SR Singaravelu, a retired judge of the Madras High Court, to enquire into the death of Dalit boy Ilavarasan of Natham colony in Dharmapuri district has been challenged in the court.
The first bench of the Acting Chief Justice RK Agrawal and Justice M Sathiyanarayanan, before which the public interest writ petition from advocate G Muthukumaran came up, ordered the transfer of the case to another bench led by Justice V Dhanapalan, before which similar matters were pending.
In his petition, Muthukumaran submitted that the terms of reference to the panel was to enquire into the cause of death and the circumstances that led to the death of Ilavarasan on July 4. The constitution of the panel was unwarranted and against law, as the realm of investigation was vested with the police, which had to act as per the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). In such a situation, the constitution of the panel was unprecedented. It would also lead to a situation which would hamper/hinder the probe by the police, he said.
Petitioner also alleged that Justice Singaravelu had been exhibiting anti-Dalit sentiments and was biased against the Dalits. Hence, it would be inappropriate to appoint him as the commission of enquiry, he contended.