Writ Petition (Civil) No. 400 of 2010. Case: K. Saravanan Karuppasamy Vs State of Tamilnadu. Supreme Court (India)

Case NumberWrit Petition (Civil) No. 400 of 2010
JudgesT.S. Thakur and R. Banumathi, JJ.
IssueTamilnadu Property (Prevention of Damage and Loss) Act, 1992 - Section 3(1); Protection of Human Rights Act 1993 - Sections 2(1), 21, 21(2), 22, 23, 24, 25, 25(1), 26, 27, 28, 29; Indian Penal Code (IPC) - Sections 147, 148, 324, 307, 341, 420, 506; Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) - Section 482; Constitution of India - Articles 14, 19, 20, 21...
Judgement DateSeptember 16, 2014
CourtSupreme Court (India)


R. Banumathi, J.

1. This writ petition has been filed by the Petitioners seeking a writ of mandamus to initiate an independent investigation preferably by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the incident of alleged beating of students of Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College, Chennai on 12.11.2008 by some miscreants so that criminal proceedings could be initiated against the guilty police personnel as well as the other persons responsible for the said incident.

2. Brief facts which led to the filing of the writ petition are as follows: A group of students of Dr. Ambedkar Law College, Chennai belonging to Thevar Community is said to have pasted posters and pamphlets inside the college premises in connection with the birthday celebrations of Pasumpon Muthuramalingam Thevar in which the name of the law college was printed as "Government Law College" instead of "Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College". Agitated Dalit Students questioned the Non-Dalit Students which led to wordy altercation between the two groups culminating in an untoward incident which occurred in the campus of Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College, Chennai on 12.11.2008 at about 2.20 P.M. Both the group of students attacked each other and it is alleged that Non-Dalit Students (Thevar Students) were brutally beaten by the other group. Regarding the incident, criminal cases were registered against both the groups. Few police personnel were suspended on the same day and a Commission of Enquiry headed by a retired High Court Judge was also appointed which filed its report and the same was accepted by the State Government and some follow up action was taken.

3. The Petitioners claim to be the President and Secretary of 'World Human Rights Commission & Rescue Centre' and main aim of their organisation is stated to be to instil a sense of public awareness about the human rights and take up cases of gross human rights violations. Grievance of the Petitioners is that though the occurrence was in front of the Law College in broad day light and a number of police personnel were present, they did not intervene to prevent the clashes and the police remained silent spectators. According to the Petitioners, the delinquent police officials deliberately did not intervene, only in order to appease their political bosses and the police personnel were negligent in preventing the incident. Since there was violation of human rights and dereliction of duty on the part of police personnel in preventing the incident, the Petitioners tried to lodge a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission ('SHRC'), but SHRC refused to entertain the same and the Petitioner No. 2 was left with no option, but to file a complaint before the National Human Rights Commission ('NHRC') and a case bearing No. 1492/22/13/08-09/UC was registered with NHRC. Case of Petitioners is that, since the Petitioners have filed complaints before NHRC about the law college incident, the Petitioners are facing considerable harassment at the hands of the Tamilnadu Police and frivolous cases are registered against the Petitioners and their Organisation since the Petitioners have refused to withdraw the complaint filed with the NHRC regarding the law college incident. All the accounts and properties of the Organisation have been seized by CB CID arbitrarily without following proper procedure. The Petitioners therefore allege that the investigation in the Law College incident has not been proceeded with all seriousness and the Petitioners seek independent investigation into the incident of brutal beating of students of Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College on 12.11.2008 by an independent agency either CBI or SIT.

4. Upon notice, the State of Tamilnadu and SHRC have filed their Status Report/response.

5. Mr. Prashant Bhushan, learned Counsel appearing for the Petitioners submitted that since the Petitioners filed complaint against the erring police officials with NHRC and since Petitioners have refused to withdraw the complaint filed with NHRC, the Petitioners are constantly being harassed by the State Police-Organized Crime Unit (OCU) and Crime Branch-Crime Investigation Department (CB CID) and false cases have been registered against the Petitioners. Learned Counsel further submitted that OCU and CB CID police used all kinds of third degree methods and the first Petitioner was brutally beaten not only by the police but also by rowdy elements and the Petitioner and his family members underwent a great deal of mental agony, pain and harassment. Drawing our attention to the Status Report filed by the State, learned Counsel submitted that in the departmental proceedings, the erring police officials have been let off either with 'censure' or nominal punishment and the matter has not been proceeded with all seriousness and urged that the...

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