AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala may opt for shifting to Central Jail in Chennai from the Bengaluru jail on age and health grounds, a party official hinted on Thursday.
“It is early to say when Chinamma (Sasikala) will apply for transfer to Chennai jail as she has to make a strong case for consideration by the (Karnataka) government on health and humanitarian grounds,” Karnataka AIADMK leader V. Pugazhendi told IANS from Chennai on phone.
The 59-year-old Sasikala returned to the Central Jail here a week ago to serve a four-year sentence upheld by the Supreme Court after she was held guilty of corruption in a two-decade-old wealth case.
A trial court had first held her guilty in September 2014 in Bengaluru.
“Our priority is to ensure Sasikala gets better facilities in the cell she is staying with Elavarasi in the adjacent cell. Her well-being is more important than seeking transfer as it will take time,” said Pugazhendi.
Sasikala and her co-convict sister-in-law Elavarasi and nephew V.K. Sudhakaran were put in jail on February 15 after the Supreme Court refused to give them more time to surrender.
When told that there was a provision in the law for a convict to seek transfer from one state to another state, Pugazhendi said in that case Sasikala was ready to apply for re-locating to the Chennai jail.
“If there is precedence in such a case on merits, our lawyers are ready to move an application on Sasikala’s behalf. We don’t know if any convict was transferred from a Karnataka jail to a Tamil Nadu jail in the past.”
Karnataka Director General of Prisons H.L. Satyanarayana Rao told IANS that the jail superintendent could consider Sasikala’s request on health or humanitarian grounds.
“We can consider at our discretion if a request is made by the convict and the application is within the process of law,” Rao said.
Bengaluru Jail Superintendent Krishna Kumar, however, said it was up to the state government to consider such a transfer request.
“It is the state government’s discretion to consider such a request. The law says in the normal course a convict could be allowed to re-locate to another jail within or outside the state on merits,” Kumar told IANS here.
Kumar also clarified that Sasikala’s high-profile case being sensitive and without a precedence, the government would have to weigh pros and cons of its decision to consider the grounds on which she seeks a transfer.