The Madras High Court Thursday stayed a probe into suspected dowry death of a woman near Vedaranyam in Nagapattinam district on a petition which alleged that police are attempting to weaken the case under the "influence" of a Tamil Nadu minister.
Justice G K Ilanthiraiyan granted the interim order on the petition filed by G S Arumukham, a retired civil judge and an uncle of the woman, and issued a notice to the Vedaranyam police inspector and the DSP of the area returnable by June 4.
According to the petitioner, his close relative Soundarya was married to Ashok of Agasthiyampalli village on May 15, 2013 and gave birth to twin babies in October 2018.
He alleged that Ashok was a habitual drinker and tortured his wife almost daily demanding more dowry. In one such incident on December 6, 2018, he had hit her severely and she was declared brought dead by doctors at a nearby hospital on the next day.
To destroy evidence, her body was cremated in a hasty manner without performing autopsy despite repeated pleas from him and other relatives of Soundarya, the petitioner charged.
He further alleged that after he asked his wife to lodge a police complaint, Minister O S Manian, who belongs to the district, met him and pressed for reconciliation and not to precipitate which was not heeded by him.
Arumukham claimed that police registered a case only after pressure was exerted on them but did not invoke IPC provision related to homicide in order to protect Ashok. He said because of this Ashok got anticipatory bail.
The petitioner said the report submitted by the sub-divisional magistrate, who had conducted the inquest, stated in clear terms that the death of the woman was not natural.
He alleged that local police were hastening up the process of filing the final report after "a perfunctory and unfair investigation" and prayed for transferring the case to CBI-CID.
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