Respond to Rajan Pillai`s widow’s plea: HC to govt

Rajan Pillai`s widow Nina`s alleged that a slew of court`s directions on jail reforms and handling of ailing prisoners were never implemented.

New Delhi: The city government was on Wednesday
asked by the Delhi High Court to respond to late biscuit baron
Rajan Pillai`s widow Nina`s allegation that a slew of court`s
directions on jail reforms and handling of ailing prisoners,
given on her plea after her husband`s death 17 years ago, were
never implemented.

Seeking the Delhi government`s reply to the plea by Nina
Pillai, the wife Singapore-based Britannia group`s late
chairman, a bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi issued it the notice
and listed the matter for further hearing on May 31.

Nina Pillai, in her petition to the court said though she
was paid a token compensation of Rs 10 lakh, the state has
failed to implement a slew of court directions to improve the
condition of jails and handling of ailing inmates there.

Justice S Muralidhar earlier had held the state liable
for lapses in providing medical care to Rajan and had awarded
Rs 10 lakh compensation to Pillai, while issuing several
directions on jail reforms.

Giving three months deadline, the court had then asked the
government and the Tihar administration to implement the
recommendations of Justice Leila Seth Commission of Inquiry,
which had been instituted to examine the circumstances leading
to Pillai`s death in July 1995 as a Tihar prisoner.

The commission, in its report, had held some doctors of
the jail liable for the lapses in treating Pillai and had
called for the measures to de-congest "overcrowded" jails and
also pointed out that instead of 17 sanctioned posts, only six
doctors were working in 1995 in Tihar.

The Singapore-based Pillai, who was suffering from various
ailments including alcoholic liver cirrhosis, had died at Deen
Dayal Upadhayay Hospital here on July 7, 1995 due to lack of
proper medical care.

Pillai, who had fled from Singapore and was on run to avoid a jail term in a criminal case there, was arrested by
the CBI from a five-star hotel here in reply to a red-corner
notice (RCN) issued against him.