Four policemen accused of the custodial deaths of Jayaraj and Bennix (the father son duo from Tuticorin) have now been arrested by the CB-CID after the case was handed over to them by the Madras High Court on Tuesday until the CBI could take over. Today, under relevant IPC sections Inspector Sridhar, sub Inspectors Raghu Ganesh and Balakrishnan and constable Murugan have been arrested. FIRs have been filed under Article 302 (Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.). People all over the country are celebrating the arrest of these cops.
Now comes the question of why this case had to be transferred to CBI? Who are the CB-CID and CBI?
CB – CID is the Criminal Branch of the Crime Investigation Department which is a branch of State Police services responsible for investigating crimes which are handed over by the state Government or High Court. CBI or the Central Bureau of Investigation, on the other hand, is the highest investigating branch in our Country. They come under the Ministry of Personnel, Public grievances and Pensions. They have 4 wings – Anti Corruption Bureau, Special Crimes Wing, Economic Offences Wing, Banks Securities & Frauds Cell.
When and what kind of cases are transferred to the CBI? Cases are handed over to CBI by state governments by the means of ‘General Consent’ when a crime is causing Government of India to lose revenue or when public servants are involved in corruption. Cases are also transferred to them when a case is politically sensitive or attracting heavy media attention by the means of ‘case wise’ notification where an already registered case is transferred by the state with the consent of Government of India. High courts and Supreme Court of India can also transfer cases to gain a fresh perspective on investigations.
The case of Jayaraj and Bennix was referred to the CBI by the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court after they charged several policemen for contempt when they were told that the CCTV footage near the Sathankulam Police station from the day of the unfortunate incident was deleted by them. There were protests, both online and on ground to arrest the policemen responsible and transfer the case to CBI which garnered a great deal of media attention. There was immense pressure on the Chief Minister E. K. Palaniswami and his government. Thus, the case was transferred.
Why did the public want the case to be transferred to the CBI? What makes them trust the agency so much? CBI is known for its free and fair investigation. Constituting of IPS officers from across the country, who are deputed for a period of 5-7 years, these officers are not under the pressure or influence of political figures or prominent local executives unlike the state police forces. Their success rate at 65% is proof enough for their efficiency. They also spend a major part of their budget on investigations and are monitored at multi layers. They conduct thorough investigations of criminal cases only which gives them more space to work efficiently.
What might happen in this case next? Once the CBI files FIRs, as per their guidelines, their investigation and prosecution(law) wings will start working together to secure and strengthen the trial and evidences. The CBI have their own Special courts headed by experienced judges from district ranks, in which the accused will be produced. They also have their own prosecutors and Pairvi officers who will handle these cases. Further, based on an extensive investigation and fair trial, the CBI will come out with a verdict adhering to the IPC.
The citizens should now await the same and believe that justice will be provided for the victims and their families.
– Jahnavi TR