BENGALURU: A recent RTI reply from the prison department has once again established that the authorities of Bengaluru Central Prison are allowing more people to meet expelled AIADMK leader VK Sasikala, flouting the rules.
Earlier, an inquiry report submitted by a committee led by retired IAS officer Vinay Kumar into the alleged irregularities inside the prison had exposed that Sasikala was given preferential treatment by the prison authorities.
As per the information accessed by RTI activist and advocate Narasimha Murthy, six visitors were allegedly allowed to meet Sasikala during the same time on August 20, violating the prison manual.
The reply stated that on August 20 from 1 pm to 1.45 pm, six people visited Sasikala, who is serving sentence in a disproportionate assets case. The visitors were retired IAS officer V Chandralekha, Sasikala’s nephew T T V Dinakaran, his wife Anuradha, daughter Jayaharini, Devadi Rajan and Pugalendhi. While Dinakaran, his wife and daughter are Sasikala’s family members, the other three have been mentioned as ‘family friend’ in the relationship column. But according to section 603 of the Karnataka Prison Manual, “normally four persons are allowed. In case of near relatives, it may be extended to six persons to visit one prisoner.”
RTI activist Murthy said, “It is an irony that the government, which had constituted a committee to probe the irregularities inside the prison, has not initiated any action against the errant staff despite the report having clearly revealed there were irregularities. I have written to the Chief Minister and the Home Minister to initiate action against officers involved.”
The prison officials were not available for comment. It may be recalled that in July 2017, the then DIG of Prisons, D Roopa, had exposed the special treatment given to Sasikala and her relative Ilavarasi, who was also convicted in a disproportionate assets case. The government had constituted a committee to probe the charges.