Sasikala paid Rs 2 crore bribe to Bengaluru jail officials for exclusive kitchen, other favours: Prison report
In an explosive report to state government, IG prison D Roopa said Sasikala paid Rs 2 crore bribe to top officials of Bengaluru jail to have a special kitchen and other favours.
"As a reward for bribing the prison authorities from Rao to jail warden, Sasikala gets special menu daily, cooked by special chefs in a special kitchen near the women's cell," Roopa is said to have mentioned in the report.
Co-convicts Sasikala's sister-in-law Elavarasi and nephew VK Sudhakaran were also held guilty by a trial court in September 2014 and upheld by the Supreme Court on February 14 in the two-decade-old disproportionate assets case of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
The complaint was lodged on Monday by BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje, the family members of these prisoners were not being allowed to meet them.
An NHRC release said the complaint alleged the prisoners were beaten black-and-blue and shifted overnight (on July 16) in an injured condition to various other prisons at Mysore, Ballari, Belagavi and Davanagere.
According to the complaint, lodged on Monday by BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje, the family members of these prisoners were not being allowed to meet them.
The commission observed that the allegations of physical torture of the prisoners and their overnight transfer to other jails in an injured condition, if true, raised a serious issue of violation of their right to life and dignity.
It issued notices to Karnataka Director General of Police (DGP) and Inspector General (IG), Prisons, asking them to file within four weeks a detailed report on the allegations, along with a note on the current location and health condition of the "injured and shifted" prisoners.
"It need not be restated that a prisoner is not a slave of the State and is not denude of his fundamental rights while in judicial custody," the release said.
Allegedly, the prisoners were meted out this "inhuman" treatment because of their bid to stage a dharna inside the jail premises as they were not allowed to speak to (then) DIG (Prisons) D Roopa, who had visited the jail, it added.
DIG Roopa had recently flagged certain "grave irregularities" inside the Central Jail, including providing a sophisticated kitchen to one of the prisoners, (AIADMK Amma chief) V Sasikala, and VIP treatment to another prisoner, Abdul Karim Lala Telgi, the release said.
The issue of alleged preferential treatment to Sasikala, serving a four-year term in a disproportionate assets case, came to the fore after Roopa submitted a report to her superior, DGP (Prisons) H N Sathyanarayana Rao.
Both DIG Roopa and DGP Rao were transferred after they sparred over the report in public.
The government has also ordered a probe by a retired official into the allegations.
The release said that according to the complaint, the 32 prisoners were allegedly shifted in a hasty manner in order to avoid any disclosure to the inquiry officer.