A prisoner at the Central Prison at Puzhal here, who is suffering from lung cancer, can now be at his mother’s residence for two months for taking treatment.

The Madras High Court granted the relief on a habeas corpus petition by the prisoner’s mother seeking three months ordinary leave for her son for providing treatment to him.

In its order disposing of the petition, a Division Bench comprising Justices K.N.Basha and P.Devadass made it clear that during his stay in his mother’s house for two months, the detenu should be under the surveillance of escort police officials. It was constrained to direct the government to consider the prison Superintendent’s recommendation for releasing the prisoner prematurely as per the Tamil Nadu Prison Rules and pass orders within two months.

The Bench also said that the continued stay of the prisoner beyond two months is subject to the outcome of the orders to be passed under Rules 632 (Release of sick prisoners) and 633 (Release of prisoners in danger of death.)

On May 3, 2010, the prisoner, B.Venkatesan, was sentenced to life in a murder case. On appeal, the High Court set aside the conviction under Section 302 and instead convicted and sentenced him to seven years rigorous imprisonment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

In the petition, Saroja said her son was suffering from lung cancer and had been admitted to the Government Royapettah Hospital. He was undergoing chemotherapy and his condition was very critical. Therefore, his family was anxious to take him home and give him alternative mode of treatment.

The Bench said the fact remained that Venkatesan was suffering from serious illness and was undergoing treatment. It had been stated by the Prison Superintendent that in view of the terminal illness, the relatives’ representation for the premature release of the prisoner on medical grounds was under government’s active consideration.

A reading of the relevant rules made it abundantly clear that the convict was entitled to premature release on the ground of his terminal illness and also that he was in the danger of death.

Considering the undisputed facts and also on humanitarian grounds, the Bench said it was constrained to direct the Superintendent of Central Prison-I, Puzhal, to arrange for taking the prisoner from the hospital with escort police to his mother’s house at Manali here.