Consider conducting trial on a daily basis in Sathankulam case, says Madras HC
Justice K Murali Shankar gave the direction while dismissing a bail petition filed by former sub-inspector of police P Ragu Ganesh, who is one of the key accused in the case.
MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Friday directed the Additional District and Sessions Court-I of Madurai, which is conducting the trial in Sathankulam custodial death case, to explore the possibility of conducting the hearing on a day-to-day basis.
Justice K Murali Shankar gave the direction while dismissing a bail petition filed by former sub-inspector of police P Ragu Ganesh, who is one of the key accused in the case. The judge noted that at present, the trial court is taking the case for examination of witnesses on two days a week, taking note of the convenience of the advocates coming from other districts.
Considering the CBI special public prosecutor’s submission that the cross-examination of witnesses was going on for several hearings, Justice Shankar directed the trial judge to explore the possibilities of conducting the trial on a day-to-day basis or to increase the number of days, so that the trial could be completed within the time limit fixed by the high court, which is three months from the date of appointment of the new presiding officer for the trial court.
Ganesh was arrested along with nine other policemen for the alleged custodial death of two traders, P Jeyaraj and his son Beniks, in Thoothukudi in June 2020. One of the arrested cops died due to Covid-19, a month later. CBI filed chargesheet against Ganesh and the remaining eight policemen.
Trial is under way since 2020. Ganesh denied the allegations. While his earlier bail petitions were dismissed, he approached the high court again. But, CBI and Jeyaraj’s wife Selvarani opposed his plea. After an elaborate hearing, Justice Shankar dismissed the petition noting that there has been no change in circumstances of the case since the dismissal of his earlier petitions.