The Madras High Court bench here has directed the Superintendent of Madurai Central Prison to grant four days’ emergency leave to a life convict to visit his ailing father.

The petitioner, M. Pooranam, said in her petition that her son M. Muthu was awarded a life term by a trial court in 2010 for murdering his relative in a family dispute. The petitioner’s husband, Muniyasamy (69), is afflicted with diabetes, hyper-tension and asthma, she added.

According to R. Alagumani, the counsel who appeared on behalf of the petitioner, Mrs. Pooranam submitted an application seeking 10 days’ emergency leave for Muthu. The convict has not availed of emergency leave so far, he added.

Citing the Tamil Nadu Suspension of Sentence Rules, 1982, the counsel contended that the Superintendents and the Inspector Generals of Prisons were empowered to grant emergency leave to convicts to visit family members who were ill.

Special government pleader M. Govindan submitted that the prison authorities were ready to grant the convict leave for four days. However, the convict must be accompanied by security personnel at the cost of the petitioner, he contended.

Mr Alagumani argued that the petitioner was unable to bear the cost of the security personnel as she was struggling to meet the medical expenditure of her husband.

In its order, a division bench comprising Justices N. Paul Vasanthakumar and P. Devadass observed, “The longing of a lifer to see his ailing father has to be considered under humanitarian grounds. Rule 16 of the Tamil Nadu Suspension of Sentence Rules, 1982, permits security escort to penury stricken convicts at government cost.”

More In: Madurai