MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has directed the State Home and Prison departments to consider the representations of two British nationals, currently lodged in the Central Prison at Puzhal in Chennai, seeking ‘A’ class facility. The two — William Irving and Nicholas Simpson — were crew members of US company-owned ship Seaman Guard Ohio.
In their petitions, William and Nicholas submitted that they were part of crew members of US company-owned ship Seaman Guard Ohio, which was an anti-piracy ship. It was intercepted by naval forces for poaching into Indian territorial waters with arms and ammunition near Thoothukudi port. The crew members were arrested on October 18, 2013, by Q Branch and the case was being tried by Thoothukudi court. Further, the 35 crew members were awarded five years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of `3,000 each and they all were lodged in Puzhal prison.
Meanwhile, William and Nicholas citing their health conditions and social status, made representations to prison authorities to grant them ‘A’ class in prison. As the authorities turned down their plea, they filed a petition seeking a directive to the State home department to grant them the facility.
A Bench of Justices R Subbiah and A D Jagadish Chandira directed the Home Secretary to consider the representations and pass appropriate orders within two months. An ‘A’ class prisoner is entitled to a bed with mattress, pillow, mosquito net, non-vegetarian food twice a week, newspapers and radio.
‘A’ class benefits
An ‘A’ class prisoner is entitled to a bed with mattress, pillow, mosquito net, non-vegetarian food twice a week, newspapers and also a radio