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Hindraf angered no inquest on boy’s death until now - FMT

Hindraf says delay is tantamount to a denial of access to justice and bound to erode public confidence in the judiciary even further.

shashikumar a l selvam death.jpgPETALING JAYA: Hindraf today expressed its disappointment with the Judiciary and the Attorney-General’s office for their inaction following the death in custody of Shashikumar Selvam, 22, saying that it was tantamount to a denial of access to justice.

In a press statement released today, Hindraf chairman P Wayta Moorthy noted that two weeks have passed since Shashikumar’s death, but nothing had been forthcoming either from the court or the Attorney-General’s chambers to initiate an inquest.

“Is it because Shashikumar is an orphan and there isn’t anyone to ensure that justice is served on his untimely death,” he asked, noting that the judiciary, which had previously been quick to come forward to justify its 10-year sentence on this boy, now appeared to be taking a lacklustre attitude on the inquest into his death.

Waytha said that there was an urgent need to hold the inquest, claiming that Hindraf had received “conflicting and unverified stories” relating to the boy’s death.

“Even if he committed suicide, it is not possible to exclude possible third party involvement in the death or in failing to prevent it,” he added, making an inquest necessary.

He said that the primary reasons for establishing the Coroners’ Court in 2014 was to give importance to public interest cases such as deaths in custody/prison and to improve public perception of the system of justice.

The court’s silence in this case, he claimed, was bound to create negative perception amongst the public of the judiciary.

He said Hindraf’s solicitors had written to the AG’s office on behalf of the deceased’s grandmother but to date no response whatsoever has been received.

He urged the Judiciary and the AG to immediately initiate an inquest, adding that delay would only cause public confidence to be further eroded.