Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Tamil Nadu student suicide: Supreme Court adjourns state’s SLP against transfer of case to CBI

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The Supreme Court adjourned on Friday, the special leave petition filed by the Tamil Nadu Director General of Police against the Madras High Court verdict, which transferred the probe related to the suicide of a girl in Thanjavur to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

A bench comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Bela M Trivedi listed the matter for October, 2022 for final disposal.

The High Court had transferred the case to CBI, after expressing disappointment over the investigation conducted by local police. The Thanjavur Police had ignored the allegations that the girl studying in a missionary school in Thanjavur district committed suicide due to repeated attempts at conversion.

Representing the Tamil Nadu DGP, Senior Advocate P Wilson submitted that several adverse observations have been made by the High Court against the state police, which needs to be expunged.

The Counsel representing the congregation ‘The Immaculate Heart of Mary Society’, which runs the missionary school in which the girl was studying, submitted that the High Court made observations against the entire Christian community.

Advocate Swarupama Chaturvedi, representing the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, requested the bench to take into account the report submitted by NCPCR in a sealed cover after enquiring into the incident, which happened in January, 2022.

When the state asked for a copy of the report, the bench said that it cannot be shared at the present juncture, as it might interfere with the investigation.

The victim’s father, on whose petition the High Court ordered the CBI probe, was represented by Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani.

The Court directed the matter to be listed on a non-miscelleanous day in October, 2022.

The Supreme Court, while issuing notice on the TN DGP’s plea on January 31, had refused to interject with the CBI investigation and said that the probe by the central agency will continue.

The bench also issued notice in a connected Special Leave Petition filed by the congregation ‘The Immaculate Heart of Mary Society’, which runs the missionary school in which the girl was studying.

On January 22, the Madras High Court had asked the police authorities to focus on the circumstances that led to the girl’s suicide and directed the District Collector to make necessary arrangements to transfer the body to the deceased child’s native place. The court further gave a strict mandate to the police not to harass the person, who filmed the video of the girl.

The Class 12 student of Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School, Michealpatti, had died on January 19, following an attempt to suicide. After her death, certain video clips of her recorded by a third party named Muthuvel emerged in social media, in which the girl had allegedly made statements about forcible conversion attempts.

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