On 28 January 2015, the Coroner made a landmark finding into the cause of death of Karuna Nithi, who had died in police lockup on 1 June 2013.

The learned coroner was satisfied that the cause of Karuna Nithi’s death was by a combination of unlawful acts and omissions by persons unknown. This finding was based on the fact that the deceased was a healthy adult with no life-threatening diseases, but was found dead three days later with 49 external injuries.

Moreover, the coroner also found there was a failure or omission to provide the necessary medical care and attention required by the deceased and there was a failure of the police to stop other detainees from abusing the deceased in lockup.

He also reiterated the Court of Appeal’s finding in the case of Kugan that remand prisoners are innocent until convicted in a court of law and like other citizens they are entitled to their basic human rights during their lawful detention.

Karuna Nithi Inquest Verdict