The Madras High Court Bench here has directed the Inspector General of Prisons to consider the plea of an under trial prisoner lodged in the Palayamkottai Central Prison in Tirunelveli district to use a water purifier inside the jail.

Disposing of a petition filed by M. Raja Hussain who was supposedly languishing as an under trial prisoner for the last 14 years, Justice M.M. Sundresh said the prisoner's request could be considered because he had claimed that his health condition required purified water.

The judge also pointed out to submissions made by the petitioner's counsel R. Alagumani that the purifier intended to be used by his client belonged to a popular brand. It was made of plastic and does not require electricity. It could not be termed as dangerous equipment in any way.

In his affidavit, the petitioner said that he was allowed to use the water purifier during his tenure in the Tiruchi Central Prison. He was shifted to the Palayamkottai prison in March this year and it was then that the prison officials seized the purifier claiming it to be a dangerous material.

Mr. Justice Sundresh recalled that the Gujarat High Court in 2004 had directed the prison officials in that State to provide water purifiers and coolers and to maintain them regularly as was done in hospitals and educational institutions.

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