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Deaths on premises: institutions should inform police

K.T. Sangameswaran

CHENNAI: The State Human Rights Commission has recommended that the Tamil Nadu Government order all educational institutions to inform the police immediately whenever a death occurs on their premises.

The Commission made the recommendation on a complaint relating to the death of a student, Maheswaran, in a college at Namakkal in February 2005.

In his complaint, the student’s father said he was informed that his son fainted and fell down and died later. He saw a cut injury on the back of his head. He suspected that someone had stabbed him.

Treating as closed the complaint, the Commission Bench, comprising Chairperson Justice A.S. Venkatachalamoorthy and Members Justice S.Thangaraj and K. Mariappan, said post-mortem was not conducted. There was a discrepancy with regard to the wound as stated in the complaint and in the evidence tendered by the complainant and his wife. The student’s parents did not question anyone about the injury, but they explained that that day, they were upset and did not know what to do.

“In the absence of a post-mortem certificate, it will be rather difficult to come to a definite conclusion that a cut injury was inflicted on the back of the right ear, and that he died only because of that injury.”

To get over this kind of a situation in future, Educational Department authorities must direct all institutions, functioning with or without recognition at all levels, to inform the police whenever a death occurred on their premises.

The Commission said the fact remained that the complainant received Rs.16,000, an amount paid as tuition fees to the college.

At that time, he gave in writing that he filed a complaint wrongly and he would withdraw it. The Commission could not proceed against the educational institution, which was a private one, the Bench said.

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