Swathi murder: HC allows cops to videograph Ramkumar

Swathi murder: HC allows cops to videograph Ramkumar
Madras High Court today struck down a lower court’s order to take Ram Kumar, main accused in the June 24 murder of a IT professional, to the crime scene and directed prison officials to make arrangements in jail to take his photographs, videographs and other measurements to enable them to compare it with video footage already with the police.
“In the considered opinion of this court, it is not necessary to take Ramkumar anywhere near the place of occurrence for making him re-enact the crime. The Identification of Prisoners Act was passed in the year 1920, when photography was the only technology available. Today, technology has improved by leaps and bounds, and it will be an anachronism to hold that photography will not include videography.
The taking of videograph per se will not make the suspect criminally liable. The videograph should have to be compared with the one already with the police by forensic experts and the evidence and report of the experts would become relevant under section 45 of the Evidence Act,” Justice P.N. Prakash said while closing the plea moved by the accused.
Justice P N Prakash directed the the prison authorities to provide necessary facilities for the Investigation Officer in the case to take videograph, photographs and other measurements of Ram Kumar with the help of the technical officer in the police photo section, not below the rank of sub inspector.
He further directed superintendent of prisons, Puzhal, where Ram Kumar is lodged, to allow him give his measurements, photographs and videographs.
Earlier, the counsel for the petitioner contended that when there are so many eye witnesses in the case, it is not necessary for the police to take the videograph of Ramkumar and that it will be violative of Article 21 (Right to protection of life and personal liberty) of the Constitution.

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