Bengaluru: V.K. Sasikala – prisoner number 9243 does not have to undergo any skilled training or involve herself with vocational work in the Central prison at Parapanna Agrahara because she has been sentenced to Simple Imprisonment by the SC, an official source told Deccan Chronicle.
Amid some speculation, that Sasikala had managed to wangle a television into her room and upgrade her cell to a Class A cell and get a cot, all of which has been strenuously denied by prison authorities, the source said that while “vocational and skill-based work is mandatory for convicts, who been sentenced to rigorous imprisonment by the court, prison officials cannot force a convict serving simple imprisonment to do any kind of work. It is up to her to keep herself occupied. The prison library is available for the convicts and she can make use of the facility.”
Saskilaka’s relative Ilavarasi, meanwhile, has been provided with a cot on medical grounds. “She is a hypertension patient and has been advised to sleep on a cot by the prison doctors. So far no such requisition has been made for Sasiskala or her doctor," the source said.
Sasiskala, who spent a restless night, sleeping on the floor skipped dinner on her first night of the stipulated three month, six month term, chose to eat a breakfast of Pongal, and asked for hot water to bathe in. Her first visitors were her lawyers and couple of other people had come to meet her inside the prison premises, the officer added.
Sasikala and Ilavarasi have been lodged in a two-occupancy cell, which is located in the same barracks as hardened women convicts are lodged. “But they do not have to interact with the other convicts and can keep to themselves,” he said.
Transfer to Chennai a possibility?
Will V.K. Sasikala after successfully installing her proxy - Edappadi Palaniswamy of the AIADMK as the new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu now get him to relocate her to a prison in Tamil Nadu?
Highly reliable sources said “It is likely that the newly installed government in Tamil Nadu may request the court to relocate her to a prison in their state. The Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case against the late TN chief minister J Jayalalitha, Sasikala and the others was registered and initially tried in TN and was shifted out of the state on DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan’s petition in 2003 following which Karnataka had replaced TN as the prosecuting state of the case,” the officer added. “Tamil Nadu government will also have to write to the Karnataka government for her relocation and the latter has to agree but the request will have to be placed before the court. Sasikala and other convicts in the DA case had to surrender before the court in Bengaluru as per the SC,” said the officer.
Just ordinary, no special treatment
A day after she surrendered before the trial court and was sent to Parappana Agrahara central jail, Sasikala and her co-inmate Ilavarasi were given facilities such as a bed with mattresses, mosquito net, and access to a TV common to all, along with newspapers and radio.
The prison authorities maintained that such facilities are given to most inmates, serving simple imprisonment based on the doctor’s advise and if it is permissible under the prison manual. They further said that every barrack is equipped with TV sets and cable connections.
Only VIP and VVIP inmates lodged in the prison as under-trials are provided with special arrangements such as a private cell with attached bathroom, an exclusive TV set for them, home food, provided the court issues such directions.
The prison officials also cited the case of S Nalini, the convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. “Even in her case, she was treated as 'A' class convict as per the court direction. However, the term ‘A’ class does not mean that the inmates are given best of facilities. Its just a category where they are provided some relief compared to other inmates. An 'A' class prisoner is entitled to a bed with mattress, pillow, mosquito net, non-vegetarian food twice a week, newspapers and radio,” an officer said.