Ramkumar’s autopsy delayed again; similar to Gokulraj, Ilavarasan cases

The court said if the petitioner failed to obtain an order from the Supreme Court by September 30, then the post-mortem should be conducted on October 1.
Ramkumar’s autopsy delayed again; similar to Gokulraj, Ilavarasan cases
Ramkumar’s autopsy delayed again; similar to Gokulraj, Ilavarasan cases
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Almost a week after the death of Ramkumar - sole accused in the murder of Chennai techie Swathi - under suspicious circumstances, the Madras High Court has now deferred his post-mortem till September 30.

This comes after Ramkumar’s father (petitioner) wanted a doctor of his choice to be included in the autopsy panel and sought time for moving the Supreme Court on the issue.  

On September 18, Ramkumar allegedly took his own life by biting a live electric wire at the Puzhal central jail where he was lodged.

A day later, Justice T S Sivagnanam refused to concur with the petitioner’s plea and appointed a panel of four government doctors for the autopsy.

After the order was challenged by the petitioner, his plea was referred to the Chief Justice by a division bench comprising justices Huluvadi G Ramesh and Vaidyanathan, each of whom had their own differing points of view on the issue.

The Chief Justice then appointed Justice N Kirubakaran as the third judge who rejected the petitioner’s plea and instructed AIIMS Delhi to appoint a doctor for the post-mortem on or before September 27.

However, in the latest order, the Justice has now postponed the post-mortem till September 30. The high court has ruled that if the petitioner failed to obtain an order from the Supreme Court by September 30, then the post-mortem should be conducted on October 1.

The case has been mired in controversy ever since Ramkumar was arrested on July 1 for allegedly hacking to death 24-year-old Infosys employee Swathi at Nungambakkam railway station in Chennai.

His family has maintained that he did not commit the crime and that he is being framed.

A few other cases in point which are shrouded in mystery relate to the deaths of Dalits Gokulraj and Ilavarasan.

On June 23, 2015, Gokulraj, a 21-year-old Dalit youngster was last seen along with a female friend at the Thiruchengode Arthanareeshwarar temple in Tamil Nadu. A day later, his headless torso was recovered from the railway tracks.

A post-mortem report conducted seven days after the murder reportedly concluded that multiple injuries were inflicted on him, and later his body was placed on the tracks, where it was possibly run over by a train.

Two of the main accused, Sankar and Kumar confessed to the crime before a court in Srivaikundam in July. They told the court that they had killed Gokulraj and stated that Yuvaraj along with others had abducted Gokulraj.

Yuvaraj was President of the Dheeran Chinnamalai Peravai, a Kongu-Vellalar caste-outfit and had evaded the police for more than 100 days before turning himself in to the CB-CID on October 11, 2015.

A purported suicide note and video of Gokulraj was also reportedly circulated on social media later, but police say that he was forced to write the note and record the video before he was killed.

The case was initially registered as a case of suspicious death but following the postmortem report, the case was changed to that of a murder case (Section 302 of IPC).

On September 18, 2015, in a sensational twist to the case, DSP Vishnupriya who was the investigating officer, committed suicide at her official residence in Tiruchengode.

Now, it remains to be seen whether Yuvaraj gets convicted.

Another case which evoked much interest was the purported suicide of Dalit boy Ilavarasan.

On July 4, 2013, Ilavarasan’s body was discovered on the tracks in Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu in an apparent case of suicide. But, his family and Dalit groups suspected it to be a murder by upper caste groups.

A total of three autopsies were performed. The first one was conducted just a day later at the Dharmapuri Government General Hospital. On July 11, a second autopsy was conducted by experts from Chennai. A third autopsy was conducted on July 13, based on the orders of the Madras High Court.

The final conclusion of the report was that Ilavarasan suffered a fatal head injury caused by a moving train and there was no evidence of any physical torture.

Ilavarasan had married Divya, a girl belonging to the upper Vaniyar caste. This had led to riots in November 2012, in which three Dalit villages were attacked and around 250 Dalit homes were set alight.

While a four-page suicide note found on Ilavarasan’s body seemed to lend credence to the suicide theory, his family maintained that it was not his writing. 

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