A division bench comprising Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice VM Velumani said, “Merely because there is no time limit fixed in the aforesaid Rules for the disposal of the representation for ordinary leave, it does not mean that the prison authorities can sleep over the matter. The very purpose of giving the representation gets frustrated on account of the delay, compelling the prisoners or their family members to approach the court by filing writ petitions.” The direction was given in a plea moved by a life convict seeking one month’s ordinary leave to take his wife, who is suffering from incisional hernia, for treatment, and also to make arrangements to meet the educational expenses of his daughters. He moved the court as the prison authorities were yet to grant leave.
Granting the ordinary leave he sought for, the bench further held, “It is made clear that if the parties are compelled to approach the court on account of failure to dispose of the representation for ordinary leave within the time limit fixed by this court, the expenses incurred for the legal proceedings initiated by the convicts or their family members shall be borne out by the authority, who failed to dispose of the representation in time.”
Further, the bench led by Justice Kirubakaran noted that it was brought to the notice of the court that the police officials who accompanied the convicts were taking money in the name of charges, and directed the Inspector General of Prisons to make it clear that no amount should be demanded from the convicts when they come out on parole.
“If any such incident is brought to the notice of this court, then not only departmental proceedings would be taken against the concerned officials but also action under Prevention of Corruption Act would be taken,” the bench warned. The plea has been posted to July 27 for reporting compliance.