The Kerala High Court on Wednesday took suomotu cognisance on tribal youth Madhu’s murder in Attappady, Palakkad, based on a letter written by the state legal services authority chairman Justice Surendra Mohan to Chief Justice Antony Dominic.

The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Antony Dominic and Justice Dama Sheshadri Naidu on Wednesday issued notice to the state government and asked the government to file a reply in 15 days.

It was on 22 February, 27-year-old tribal youth Madhu was beaten to death by a mob at Kadukumanna hamlet in Attappady, near Palakkad in Kerala.

In his letter to Chief Justice, Justice Surendra Mohan, who is also a sitting judge of the High Court, wrote that the incident brings to the fore, a very disturbing state of affair that requires correction through judicial intervention.

“In the first place, it is a sad reflection of the decline in the moral values of our society that projects itself as the most literate in the country. If this is the state to which our education has led us, we need to take a closer look at our system of education,” Justice Surendra Mohan wrote in the letter.

“Secondly, as per the reports, the victim was beaten up on the allegation that he had stolen a small quantity of rice. There are a number of schemes for the welfare of the tribals, being implemented by the State agencies.

There are also various poverty alleviation programmes that are being implemented in the State by other organisations. If the victim had been forced to steal rice because he had nothing to eat, it shows the schemes that are being implemented are not reaching the needy.

It is necessary to revamp our implementation procedures to ensure the schemes reach the beneficiaries,” he further says in the letter.

He observed that the incident is an eye-opener to the atrocities to which the tribals are being subjected to by the other members of the society.

“It is reported that, the victim had to leave the place where he had been working because of hostilities from his fellow workers.

In view of the above, it is absolutely necessary that directions for a better enforcement of law to prevent atrocities against the tribals are issued,” Justice Surendran Mohan pointed out in the letter.

Terming the incident as a blot on the society and the State as whole, he said: “We are all forced to hang our heads in shame, that such an incident has taken place in our State that boasts of 100 per cent , literacy”.

Underlining the need to protect the survivors of the youth, the judge said: “The survivors of the youth should be properly compensated for the laxity on the part of the State by providing them with the protection of the law that is guaranteed to every citizen by the Constitution.”