The observation was made during the hearing of a habeas corpus petition filed by the parents of a convict in the Kevin murder case.

Kerala High Court Building
news Court Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - 14:10

During the hearing of the habeas corpus petition moved by the parents of a convict in the Kevin murder case, the Kerala High Court on Monday observed that police officers cannot inflict violence on prisoners during disciplinary proceedings.

A bench of Justices K Vinod Chandran and MR Athira while hearing the petition also allowed the convict Tittu Jerome’s parents to visit him in hospital for 30 minutes. The court also expressed its dissatisfaction at prison officials as well as on the report they filed as it didn’t specify any details about Tittu’s injuries or the circumstances that led to the violence. The HC also observed whether it was proper for the jail authorities to take law into their hands, reports Bar and Bench. The prosecution in response submitted that these forms of disciplinary action were often taken against convicts.

Read: Convict in Kevin’s murder case tortured in prison, Kerala HC intervenes

The court, however, replied that such forms of disciplinary action did not allow the right to inflict violence. The court also questioned why the officers involved in the violence were transferred when they should have been suspended.

Tittu’s parents, Jerome Kochukutty and Valsamma, had stated in the habeas corpus that their son was manhandled by prison officials and had been kept isolated. Tittu is housed at the Central Prison in Poojappura in Thiruvananthapuram.

The court intervened in the matter on Friday, directing an enquiry into the matter. A team led by the Additional District Judge – II at Thiruvananthapuram was directed to visit the jail along with the Inspector General of Police and medical officers to check the allegations in the plea.

Tittu was shifted to the Medical College Hospital in the city after a medical examination revealed wounds. The Prisons department had transferred three officials after a preliminary enquiry.

Read: Kevin murder convict allegedly manhandled in prison, 3 officials transferred

The case pertains to the murder of 23-year-old Kevin Joseph, a Dalit Christian who was abducted and killed in May 2018 after he married Neenu, daughter of a Catholic father and Muslim mother. Neenu’s brother Shanu, Tittu Jerome and eight others were convicted in August 2019 to double life term after they were found guilty of the crime.

VP Sunil Kumar, Chief Welfare Officer, Prisons, is conducting a detailed enquiry into the allegation.

Also read: Why the Kevin murder trial is a landmark in the battle against casteism in Kerala


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