Tamil Nadu

69 inmates died in State prisons last year

Sixty-nine inmates died in Tamil Nadu jails last year, seven more than the figure for 2012.

The Home Department made the submission before the First Bench of the Madras High Court when a public interest litigation petition on the deaths in prison came up.

The Central Prison, Madurai, topped the list last year with 12 deaths, followed by the Central Prison-II, Puzhal, 11 and the Central Prison, Coimbatore, 10.

Chief Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice M. Sathyanarayanan directed the Member-Secretary of the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority to get verification reports within four weeks, setting forth the condition of different jails. A copy should be handed over to counsel for the State, who might file a response within three weeks thereafter.

K. Kesavan, a Chennai advocate, said in his petition that several prisoners died “unnatural” deaths for want of medical attention. What was alarming was that one prisoner died every four days in the State. A total of 1,095 prisoners had died since 2000 till February last year, he said, attributing the deaths to the “gross negligence” on the part of the prison administration.

He sought a directive to the authorities to consider his October 3, 2013 representation to the government for medical facilities to inmates.

M. Arachelvi, Deputy Secretary, Home, said the deaths were mainly due to old age and illness.

No prisoner died because of negligence. There was a prison hospital with a full-time medical officer. She detailed the sanctioned strength of medical officers, counsellors and psychologists, pharmacists and staff nurses in the prison hospitals, and the compensation paid to the families of the deceased prisoners.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 6:29:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/69-inmates-died-in-tamil-nadu-prisons-last-year/article6275872.ece

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