COIMBATORE: The mother of a prisoner who is in Coimbatore Central Prison was called for an inquiry on Friday, after she leveled serious allegations of impropriety and corruption against top officials at the Central Prison for Men, Vellore.
Speaking to Express, P Kaliammal, the mother of a murder accused, Sakthi alias Sakthivel, said her son had been transferred to Coimbatore Central Prison in March 2015. She had given a complaint against the prison officials at Vellore to top prison officials in Chennai, who had ordered a probe.
Kaliammal has said that Sakthivel had applied for a medical certificate certifying that he had a visual impairment so that he could get six months reprieve for an operation to correct his eyesight.
However, she alleged that two prison officials demanded Rs. 3 lakhs from Sakthivel to issue him the medical certificate.
Two wardens, working as store keepers in Vellore jail were then co-opted into the conspiracy and were asked to collect the cash from Sakthivel, she told Express. She said that between July 2014 and February 2015, she had deposited Rs. 1.8 lakhs into a Karur Vysya Bank, Vellore account of a friend of one of the wardens.
She has also said that she deposited Rs. 1 lakh in the bank account belonging to the wife of another prisoner in Vellore Jail, who in turn distributed the money to the corrupt officials. Kaliammal has given bank account details belonging to each of the account holders in her complaint petition to prison officials.
When Sakthivel asked for the medical certificate, he was asked to pay Rs. 2 lakhs more by the Vellore prison official. Two lawyers representing Sakthivel then allegedly came to the prison for testimony from the prisoner, but were turned away. Sakthivel was then transferred to Coimbatore Central Prison, Kaliammal said.
She also alleged that Sakthivel was being pressured to withdraw the complaint against the prison officials and provide testimony in favor of the two prison officials in Vellore Prison.
Responding to the allegations, V H Mohammed Hanifa, DIG of Prisons, Vellore Range, who conducted the inquiry at Coimbatore Central Prison, said the matter was being handled internally. He refused to divulge any details to the media.
The prison officials who had been accused of corruption did not respond when Express tried to contact them on phone.