Suspended Police Officer moves HC challenging trial court order

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Suspended Sub-Inspector of Police P. Raghu Ganesh, accused in the Sattankulam custodial death case of trader P. Jayaraj and his son J. Benicks, has moved the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court seeking to set aside an order passed by the trial court.

In his criminal revision petition, Raghu Ganesh said the trial in the case was pending before the First Additional Sessions Court in Madurai. He had filed a transfer petition before the Supreme Court contending that intervention and monitoring of the case by the Madras High Court would not be in the interest of a free and fair trial. The petition was admitted by the Supreme Court and notice was ordered.

Meanwhile, the trial court went ahead with the proceedings as there was no stay granted. The trial court was in a hurry to complete the trial in the case. Being a public servant, he registered an FIR against the father and son for violating COVID-19 guidelines.

He said he was performing his lawful duty and was, hence, protected under Section 197 of the CrPC (Prosecution of Judges and Public Servants). Therefore, he filed a petition for discharging him for not obtaining prior sanction from the government for prosecuting him.

The petitioner said he also filed a petition as certain copies were not given to him in the case. But, without affording an opportunity to him both petitions were dismissed by the trial court. Therefore he sought the setting aside of the trial court’s order.

Justice Sathi Kumar Sukumara Kurup directed CBI to respond to the petition filed by the suspended police officer.

The judge said the response had to be filed at the earliest and adjourned the hearing in the case by two weeks.

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