Madras HC refuses to order judicial probe into alleged custodial violence against ‘Savukku’ Shankar

Division bench, however, directs TN authorities to consider shifting the YouTuber from Coimbatore Central Prison
Savukku Shankar being brought to Madurai Court.
Savukku Shankar being brought to Madurai Court.(Photo | K K Sundar, EPS)

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Thursday refused to order a judicial probe into the alleged custodial violence against jailed YouTuber ‘Savukku’ Shankar, saying that a similar probe has already been conducted by the district legal services authority (DLSA) at the instance of the judicial magistrate court.

A division bench of Justices AD Jagadish Chandira and R Kalaimathi, however, directed the top authorities of the Tamil Nadu Prisons department to consider the representation seeking the transfer of the prisoner from the Coimbatore Central Prison within two weeks.

Shankar was arrested by the Coimbatore city police on May 4, 2024 on the charges of denigrating women police officers in an interview to a YouTube channel. He was later slapped with another case for alleged possession of ganja.

Senior counsel R John Sathyan, appearing for the petitioner, said, “Shankar is still apprehending threat to his life.” He pressed for the court to order transferring the YouTuber from the Coimbatore Central Prison to some other prison.

Savukku Shankar being brought to Madurai Court.
YouTuber Savukku Shankar 'brutally attacked' by jail authorities, claims his mother; seeks judicial probe

He noted that it was a grave matter since the torture was meted out to him while he was under judicial custody and not in the precincts of a police station. However, Additional Public Prosecutor E Raj Thilak contended that the injuries were sustained well before Shankar was locked up in the prison and the YouTuber had signed the medical report as well.

He informed the court that Shankar was taken to the Govt Medical College Hospital in Coimbatore as per the directions of the judicial magistrate for treatment.

Time to control YouTube channels

Meanwhile, proprietor of the YouTube channel ‘RedPix’ G Felix Gerald filed a an application in the High Court, seeking anticipatory bail in a case relating to publishing the controversial interview of Shankar.

Justice K Kumaresh Babu, who heard the petition, directed the police to file a reply to the petition in a week’s time and adjourned the hearing. Observing that it was the right time for controlling YouTube channels from airing objectionable messages, the judge remarked that action should also be taken against the interviewers because they goad the interviewees into express objectionable views and opinions.

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