News Brief

Tamil Nadu: Madras High Court Expresses Anguish Over Lack Of Progress In Vengaivayal Water Contamination Case

Bhuvan Krishna

Jul 08, 2024, 04:53 PM | Updated 04:53 PM IST

The Vengaivayal water tank.
The Vengaivayal water tank.

On Monday (8 July), the Madras High Court has questioned why the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) has not apprehended the culprits yet in the Vengaivayal incident.

It has been 18 months since human faeces were discovered in an overhead tank supplying drinking water to Scheduled Caste residents of Vengaivayal village in Pudukottai district.

Acting Chief Justice (ACJ) R Mahadevan raised this concern while presiding over the first Division Bench with Justice Mohammed Shaffiq, hearing public interest litigation petitions calling for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the matter.

The ACJ expressed frustration at the state police's prolonged delay in apprehending the suspects, as per a report by The Hindu.

Additional Advocate General J Ravindran and Additional Public Prosecutor R Muniyapparaj informed the court that the police had identified three suspects and issued notices to them under Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which requires police officers to summon suspects for an inquiry before arresting them without a warrant.

The law officers requested a fortnight to achieve a breakthrough, assuring the court that progress would be made within two weeks.

They also noted that a one-man inquiry commission, led by retired High Court judge M Sathyanarayanan, had been appointed by their predecessors and had filed only an interim report so far.

“The interim report has already been submitted to this court. The final report is awaited,” said the AAG, requesting additional time for the CB-CID.

The Division Bench granted the request, adjourning the PIL petitions for two weeks with a stipulation that the investigating agency should not request further adjournments without reporting significant progress.

Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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