Coroner’s verdict on Karuna Nithi’s death in lock-up upheld

21 Feb 2019 / 13:22 H.

PUTRAJAYA: The coroner’s open court verdict that police detainee P. Karuna Nithi’s death in 2013 was due to beatings by the police, as well as by other detainees, was upheld following the withdrawal of an appeal by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to reverse the ruling.

The prosecution, conducted by deputy public prosecutor Nik Syahril Nik Ab Rahman, informed the three-man bench of the Court of Appeal, led by Justice Datuk Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid, that the AGC had filed a notice of discontinuance of their appeal against the decision.

“Today the court was set to hear the appeal by the AGC. However, we had filed a notice of discontinuance of the appeal on Feb 14, 2019. Therefore, we seek to withdraw the appeal,” said Nik Syahril.

Justice Umi Kalthum, who sat with Justices Datuk Harmindar Singh Dahliwal and Datuk Stephen Chung Hian Guan, then struck out the appeal.

The AGC was appealing against the Seremban High Court’s ruling to uphold the coroner’s open verdict after dismissing its application for a revision to overturn the ruling.

In January 2015, the coroner’s open verdict ruled that Karuna Nithi’s death was due to several factors, including beatings by the police, as well as other inmates, resulting in him sustaining 49 wounds.

Coroner Datuk Jagjit Singh also held that other causes of death included the failure of the police to prevent other detainees from beating the 42-year-old detainee, and also for not seeking medical attention for him.

The judgement was made after Jagjit Singh was satisfied with the facts, as well as statements made by 44 witnesses, during the entire inquest proceedings on the victim who died in police lock up in June 2013.

The findings of the inquest differed from the initial cause of death which was due to liver damage.

Outside the court, lawyer Latheefa Koya, representing the family of the deceased, told the media that the victim’s brother, Elam Sezhian, would soon lodge police reports against the persons responsible for his brother’s death. — Bernama

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