7 years on, family of custodial death victim still waiting for justice

P Elam Sezhian, the brother of P Karuna Nithi who died in custody in 2013.

PETALING JAYA: The brother of a man who died in custody seven years ago is still waiting for justice, saying those responsible for his death are still walking free.

P Elam Sezhian, who lodged a police report on the matter at the Petaling Jaya district police headquarters today, said his family was still very sad over P Karuna Nithi’s death.

“It isn’t the same as a natural death. His death was caused by someone,” he said.

“We saw CCTV footage of how my brother was beaten up and kicked by several policemen. Yet the authorities are not doing anything.”

Karuna died in a lock-up in May 2013. In 2015, the Coroner’s Court ruled that he had sustained 49 external injuries due to assault with blunt objects. An inquest into his death also concluded that it was accelerated by the police’s failure to prevent other detainees from abusing him, and to provide the necessary medical care.

Elam told reporters that the law should apply to everyone, including those responsible for enforcing it.

“If it was a layman who did this, it would be blown up into a big issue. Why are the authorities keeping quiet about it?”

In October 2017, the High Court dismissed the government’s bid to overturn the coroner’s judgment on Karuna’s death. The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) then appealed to the appellate courts.

On Feb 21 this year, the Court of Appeal upheld coroner Jagjit Singh’s verdict after the AGC withdrew its appeal to reverse the ruling.

Karuna, 42, was remanded at the Tampin police station in late May 2013 following an altercation with his wife. His family was unable to raise bail after he was charged in court.

He was found dead in the lock-up on June 1, 2013.