Madurai: The Madras High Court bench on Wednesday ruled that pendency of Special Leave Petitions was not a ground to refuse emergency leave for a prisoner under Tamil Nadu Suspension of Sentence Rules-1982.
Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice P Devadoss said "there is no prohibition in the Tamil Nadu Suspension of Sentence Rules-1982 to grant leave" and asked Additional Director General of Prisons and Superintendents of Central prisons and special women prisons to take note of this mandate of law in considering emergency leave applications and process them on merits in accordance with law.
Disposing a petition filed by one Pooranam, mother of prisoner Muthu, who is confined to the central prisons here, the judges referred to the Supreme Court judgement and said "a person in prison does not cease to be a human being and lose all his human rights and it is the duty of the state to take care of his justifiable needs and requests."
"The longing of a lifer to see his ailing father, whose general condition has worsened, has to be approached with a humane touch. Such requests, as made by the petitioner who wanted her son to meet his ailing father, must be considered liberally on humanitarian ground.", the judges said.
The Judges said as per rules, for the penury stricken prisoners, the government should bear the escort costs. It was the duty of the state to ensure safety of prisoners and for that the state could collect money from them.
The Judges directed that Muthu be accorded four days of emergency leave and Superintendent of the Central Prison to give necessary police protection during the days.