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HC seeks details from Puducherry govt on transfer of prison officials


Press Trust of India Chennai
The Madras High Court Monday took a serious view of transfer of some Puducherry prison officials a day after they were asked to provide certain details by an amicus curiae appointed by the court to look into unnatural death of prisoners as part of a nationwide exercise.
A bench comprising Justice S Manikumar and Justice Subramonium Prasad said the inspection made by the amicus curiae on February 16 resulted in the transfer of prison officials two days later.
After going through a report filed by the amicus curie, advocate R Vaigai, it directed the chief secretary and IG of Prisons Puducherry to submit files related to the entire matter on March 1 to the court.
Vaigai in her report submitted that the team led by her during its visit to the jail in Puducherry had sought various details, including files related to prisoners on parole, wound register and medical records.
While some of the information was furnished on February 17, the prison officials assured to provide the rest the next day. But, to their surprise, the team members learnt through newspapers that the officials with whom they interacted had been transferred.
The orders of transfers were withheld subsequently on the intervention of the chief minister.
The bench directed the Puducherry government to produce all files pertaining to the request of the amicus curiae, transfer files of officers, file of chief superintendent of prisons cancelling the relieving orders and files pertaining to the chief minister's note.
The court had appointed the amicus curiae to inspect prisons in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry as part of a PIL it had taken up in October 2017 and after expressing dissatisfaction with a report filed by the state government then.
The PIL was taken up following a Supreme Court order asking all the high courts to register a petition on their own to identify the next of kin of prisoners who admittedly died an unnatural death after 2012, as revealed by the National Crime Records Bureau and award suitable compensation to them.

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First Published: Feb 25 2019 | 8:20 PM IST

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