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High Court orders interim release of old prisoner

Staff Reporter

Accords permission to get treatment in a private hospital

MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here has permitted a 78-year-old prisoner to go out of the Tiruchi Central Prison for three months in order to take treatment at a private hospital for the injuries he had sustained recently after he slipped and fell down in one of the bathrooms in the jail campus.

Allowing a writ petition filed by the prisoner's son, Justice M. Jeyapaul directed the prison Superintendent to release the aged man for three months though the official was empowered to grant leave only for a maximum of six days as per the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Prison Manual.

The judge made it clear that the prisoner should not fail to subject himself to the custody of the prison authorities immediately after the completion of three months in order to serve the remaining period of the sentence to be undergone by him.

“In case of his failure to turn up after the expiry of three months period of permission granted as per the directions of this Court, the Superintendent shall give intimation to the learned Additional District and Sessions Judge cum Chief Judicial Magistrate, Karur,” the judge ordered.

He further said that on receipt of such intimation, the Chief Judicial Magistrate should issue a non-bailable arrest warrant against the petitioner's father and direct the jurisdictional police officer to secure his presence and pass necessary orders to put him back in the prison.

In an affidavit filed along with his writ petition, M. Thirumalaiswamy said that his father Marappa Gounder was originally convicted under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced to life imprisonment by the trial court.

However, on appeal, the Madras High Court modified his conviction from Section 302 to Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC and commuted the life sentence to ten years of rigorous imprisonment.

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