Undertrial accused of murder not entitled to procure bedding, clothing, Karnataka government tells High Court on Darshan plea

Regarding plea to source food from home, government advocate tells court that Darshan will have to submit a request to the Inspector General of Prison

Updated - July 11, 2024 12:12 pm IST

Published - July 10, 2024 10:14 pm IST - Bengaluru

The State government on Wednesday told the High Court of Karnataka that Kannada film actor Darshan is not entitled to privately source his bedding, clothing, and cutlery as the prison norms allow only the undertrial prisoners other than those for murder to have these materials of their own.

Regarding his plea to source food from home, the government advocate told the court that Darshan will have to submit a request to the Inspector General of Prison.

Submissions in this regard were made before Justice S.R. Krishna Kumar during the hearing of the petition filed by Mr. Darshan, who has sought a direction to the prison authorities to permit him to have access to privately sourced/home food, cutlery, clothing, bedding, and books to be supplied by his family members.

Additional Advocate General Bhanuprakash V.G., appearing for the government, pointed out that clause 728 of the Prisons and Correctional Services Manual 2021 specifically states that “undertrial prisoners other than those for murder, shall be permitted to retain their own clothing, bedding, footwear and eating and drinking vessels like plates, spoons, cups and religious emblems.”

Watch: Kannada actor Darshan arrest case | All you need to know

Meanwhile, Special Public Prosecutor P. Prasanna Kumar told the court that Section 30 of the Karnataka Prisons Act, 1963, empowers the Inspector-General of Prisons to examine requests of undertrial prisoners to receive food from home and hence Darshan should submit the request to the IG (Prisons).

However, Senior Advocate K.N. Phanindra, appearing for Mr. Darshan, contended that Section 30 of the Act allows a civil prisoner or an unconvicted criminal prisoner to receive from private sources food, clothing, bedding or writing materials, books, newspapers or other necessaries, subject to examination.

Also Read: Darshan case: Why it is unfair to blame the Kannada film industry at large

While asking the advocates of both sides to clarify whether the petition is maintainable before the High Court directly, as the petitioner has not filed any such plea before the trial court, Justice Kumar adjourned further hearing till July 18.

In his petition, Darshan claimed that he is unable to digest the food provided in the prison, and the doctors in the prison have diagnosed his health problem as food poisoning, due to which he lost several kilos of weight.

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