Petitioner says she had already undergone imprisonment for over 22 years

S. Nalini, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, has moved the Madras High Court, seeking quashing of a criminal case against her for allegedly possessing a cell phone in prison.

In the petition, Nalini, who is now confined in Central Prison, Vellore, said she had already undergone imprisonment for more than 22 years.

The petitioner said following a complaint by the Superintendent, Special Prison for Women, Vellore, charges were framed against her before the Judicial Magistrate-I, Vellore, this month that she was found to be in possession of a cell phone, a prohibited article, during a search conducted in the prison on April 20, 2010.

The instrument was inside a bag. When the Superintendent seized the bag from the petitioner, the latter prevented the former from discharging her duties, snatched the bag and threw it into the toilet. The criminal case has been posted for August 30.

She said the Superintendent exercised her discretion under Rule 301 of prison rules and awarded a major punishment of “permanent reduction from a higher class to a lower class” (shifting the prisoner from ‘A’ class to ‘B’ class) on May 28, 2010.

Having proceeded against the petitioner for the alleged offence, the Superintendent had no jurisdiction also to lodge a complaint with the police against Nalini.

Consequently, the entire proceedings flowing from the complaint, including framing of charges, were without jurisdiction. She prayed the court to quash the proceedings before the magistrate court.

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