CHENNAI: From examination of tissues no evidence was found to support the claim of death by ‘electric shock’ in the case of P Ramkumar, the lone accused in the 2016 murder of 24-year-old techie Swathi. Histopathology experts had deposed before the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on August 18, according to documents shared by P Ramaraj, the advocate appearing on Ramkumar’s behalf. SHRC officials, however, neither confirmed nor denied the developments.
According to the police, Ramkumar had killed himself by biting into a live wire when he was lodged at the Puzhal Central Prison in September 2016. In their deposition before the SHRC, Dr Andal Palani and Dr Venu Anand, who were professors at the Government Royapettah Hospital at the time, were quoted as saying Ramkumar’s brain and heart tissues, on examination on October 7, 2016, were found to be in good condition. Further, tissues from lungs, liver, tongue, lips, spleen, kidneys were also certified to be in good condition.
Responding to questions from the petitioner’s counsel on whether the said tissues may exhibit changes in case of an electric shock, the doctors said there may be changes in most cases. However, no such changes were found. “On examining Ramkumar’s tissues, there was no evidence of death by electric shock,” the doctors said in the copy of their deposition.
During a cross-examination on Tuesday, Dr Sayed Abdul Khader, Casualty Medical Officer at Royapettah GH on September 18, 2016 when Ramkumar’s body was brought for examination, stated the prison doctor had accompanied the body. Khader said he was neither provided with photocopies of the accident register nor the documents to show he was treated in prison.
Doc unaware of treatment given to Ramkumar in jail
"I'm not aware of what treatment he was provided in prison. In the accident register that I issued, I've not specified injuries due to electric shock," Khader stated, adding there were indications of rigor mortis (rigidity of body) which usually occurs 12 hours after death.
"The injuries I saw were not indicative of an electric shock. Since the body had to be sent to the mortuary, I did not keenly examine the external injuries. I had mistakenly spoken about injuries due to electric shock in the first deposition," he said, during the cross examination. The SHRC had taken suo motu cognizance of the alleged suicide of Ramkumar, based on a news report.
Swathi, who was an employee at Infosys, was allegedly murdered by Ramkumar on June 24, 2016, when she was waiting at the Nungambakkam railway station to catch a train to work.