Madurai: Denying allegations that non-official visitors (people appointed to listen to prisoners' grievances) were not appointed in central and women prisons in Tamil Nadu, state's additional director general of police (ADGP) (prisons) C Sylendran Babu said that except some, they have been appointed in other prisons in the state.
The ADGP said this in his counter affidavit, submitted before the division bench of justices M Venugopal and Abdul Quddhose of the Madras high court Madurai bench, when a case filed recently by Peoples Watch executive director Henri Tiphagne came up for hearing.
"Non-official visitors have been appointed in 61 jails from 2015 to 2017. In respect of the remaining institutions it is an ongoing process in correspondence with the collectors concerned to furnish the list of reputed persons to be appointed as non-official visitors. They will be appointed on receipt of the list from the respective collectors shortly," the ADGP said.
He further said that the average prison death rate was much less in comparison with other states and those deaths were natural except one or two suicides.
The petitioner said that non-official members are must for the welfare of prisoners and check maladministration of prisons. But, the government did not appoint them.
ence, he sought a direction to the home secretary to appoint trained and skilled non-official visitors to each of the central jails, district jails and sub-jails in the state. Regarding that, he submitted a representation to the home secretary and other officials concerned on December 2, 2015, but no action was taken, the petitioner's counsel had claimed.