Madras high court orders re-postmortem of man who died in Saudi

Chennai: The Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Thursday ordered a re-postmortem on the body of a man, who allegedly died under suspicious circumstances in Saudi Arabia. 

The court was hearing a petition filed by Ramani, a resident of Kanyakumari district, who sought a re-postmortem on her husband’s body based on a report released by a forensic agency in Saudi Arabia.

According to the reports by The Hindu, the petitioner stated that her husband George Ponnaiyan had gone to Saudi Arabia in 2019 for work. In October 2020, a co-worker of her husband called and told her that Ponnaiyan had died after being attacked by a Christopher Raj in a quarrel over salary.

The petitioner presented a representation to the ministry of external affairs and, meanwhile, Ramani received a copy of the post-mortem report issued by a forensic medicine specialist in Dammam, stating that it was due to contusion in the neck and its consequences.

However, no criminal proceedings were initiated, she said.

Ramani wrote a letter to the ministry of external affairs in 2020. She again called for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Her husband’s body is now at Thiruvananthapuram airport.

Justice A A Nakkiran directed the petitioner to lodge a complaint before the Kanniyakumari police and upon receipt of the complaint, the police shall register a case under section 174 of the CrPC.

 He also directed the collector to take the necessary steps to bring the body back from Thiruvananthapuram airport to Kanyakumari government hospital so that a postmortem could be conducted again and videography of the entire process could be done.