Pay Rs 2 lakh for keeping old man in prison: Madras High Court

Petitioner's dad jailed despite term completion.

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to pay Rs 2 lakh as an interim compensation to a 65-year old man for keeping him in jail for over 4 years beyond the period of sentence that he was liable to suffer in a murder case.

A division bench comprising Justices R Sudhakar and P. N. Prakash gave the directive while disposing of a petition filed by P. Reegan, son of the detenu Pakkirisamy.

Citing a judgment of the Supreme Court, the bench said, “We are of the view that it will be in the fitness of things if the government of TN is directed to pay an interim compensation of Rs 2 lakh to Pakkirisamy for having suffered illegal detention for a period of 4 years, seven months and seven days, without prejudice to his right to sue for damages in the civil court.

“Accordingly, we direct the government to pay a sum of Rs 2 lakh to Pakkirisamy within four weeks and file a compliance report.”

Originally, Pakkirisamy was convicted and sentenced by a trial court in Nagapattinam on October 10, 2001. Pakkirisamy was awarded life sentence for offences under section 302 IPC (murder), two years under section 324 and five years under section 307 IPC. On an appeal from him, the high court suspended the sentence and he was released on bail on February 8, 2003.

Thereafter, the high court in its final order, acquitted him for the offence under section 302 but confirmed the sentence in respect of other offences. Following this, Pakkirisamy was apprehended by the police and was produced before a Magistrate on July 31,2006, for undergoing the unexpired portion of sentence. Contending that his father was not released despite completion of his term of sentence, his son Reegan filed the present petition.

In its earlier order, the bench had said on the filing of this petition, notice was issued to the jail authorities and on October 16, 2014, he was released from prison. Thus, it was obvious to the court that Pakkirisamy, who should have been released much earlier, was kept in incarceration beyond the period of sentence that he was liable to suffer and was released only on October 16, 2014, after the filing of this petition, the bench had added and directed the jail authorities to file an affidavit giving the exact number of days Pakkirisamy was kept in detention, in excess of the period of sentence.

Accordingly, the SP filed a memo showing the number of days the prisoner suffered imprisonment over and above the period of sentence. After perusing the memo, the bench gave the present direction.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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