If the accusation is true, then Sasikala has definitely committed a grave offence of securing comforts that defeat the very essence of the conviction by the Supreme Court. In bribing the prison authorities, she has shown scant respect to law in general and to the highest judicial institution of our country. She has made the conviction itself a mockery.
I think there should be a detailed enquiry by an independent body and not by the state police authorities. Either the CBI or a special investigation team should be appointed to investigate, because this is a serious offence and some high-level state officers have been accused of aiding and abetting this crime.
I had visited all the women’s prisons in Tamil Nadu sometime back after being appointed as Advocate Commissioner by the Madras high court to report on their conditions.
The court accepted all my recommendations, which included providing the inmates with non-vegetarian food, coffee-tea, mosquito coils, fans in cells, RO water and sanitary napkins. I had not recommended for special kitchens for VIP prisoners.
It is not right to say that a convict-prisoner has right to a food of his/her choice. If it’s a remand prisoner, they may be entitled to wear their own clothes and get their own food, but this is not the case with a convict prisoner, which Sasikala is.
(Sudha Ramalingam is a well-known lawyer specialising in human rights.)