The Puducherry government plans to shift notorious life convicts and undertrials to Tihar jail in New Delhi.

The move assumes significance in the backdrop of serious remarks made by Lieutenant Governor Virendra Kataria against the Rangasamy government on the poor law and order situation. He had stated that there was a strong nexus between a section of police personnel and criminals in Puducherry. Mr. Kataria had also made a surprise visit to Central Prison in Kalapet to get first-hand information about the alleged use of mobile phones by criminals lodged in jail to threaten traders and businessmen for ransom.

A senior official of the Puducherry police told The Hindu on Friday that the police had established contacts with Tihar jail administration for lodging notorious criminals from the Union Territory there. They had been working out modalities in this regard.

Hoping that Puducherry police would get green signal from Tihar jail administration, the official said there would be no hurdles in implementing the plan as Tihar jail was also administered by the National Capital Territory of New Delhi and it was controlled by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Since it was the largest prison complex in Asia, there would be no problem of accommodation. Orders were expected to be issued very soon, he said. He said a process of preparing a list of prisoners was underway. Those who had the history of demanding ransom from jail through mobile phones and hardcore criminals lodged in Central prison at Kalapet and sub-jails at Yanam and Karaikal would figure in the list.

The move would enable the police and prison administration to control the criminal activities planned from prisons in Puducherry.

It was one of the strategies to improve the law and order situation. If needed, they could be produced before magistrates through video conferencing system, the official added.

Commenting on the move, M. Udaya Baskar, an advocate in Puducherry, said there was nothing wrong in transferring prisoners to other State or Union Territory’s prisons if the prison administration concerned agreed to the proposal. Except those involved in minor offences, hardcore criminals, convicts, gang operators and others could be transferred. However the jail administration had to follow specific rules prescribed in the Prisons Act.