Friday, June 16, 2017


Bangalore Mirror: Bangalore: Friday, June 16, 2017.
Concessions for Sasikala have reduced in past two months, an RTI reply shows. So, limited number of visitors, and none after 5 pm, unlike earlier.
Once bitten, twice shy. Officials at Parappana Agrahara Central Jail seem to be following the rules to a tee after drawing flak for allowing too many people to visit VK Sasikala, sometimes beyond the stipulated visiting hours.
Sasikala, her niece J Ilavarasi and nephew Sudhakaran V are serving time in Parappana Agrahara jail in the disproportionate assets case filed against former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, the late J Jayalalithaa, in 1996.
In April, social activist T Narasimha Murthy dug out information about visitors for Sasikala and gang between February 16 and March 18. He claimed that although Sasikala was entitled to only two visits/interviews with friends, relatives and advocates a month (undertrials are allowed one visit/interview once in a week; convicts one visit/interview every 15 days), she had been allowed 14 such visits.
Murthy alleged that officials didn’t follow the rules and were favouring Sasikala, whom Jayalalithaa once described as “the sister she never had”. He also alleged that visitors were being allowed way beyond the official deadline of 5 pm.
On the other hand, prison officials maintained that allowing visitors and fixing timings was the discretion of the jail’s chief superintendent; however, they maintained that no rules had been flouted in Sasikala’s case.
Despite defending themselves, the prison authorities seem to have learnt their lesson and are not allowing too many visitors and not beyond 5 pm.
As per the information under RTI, between March 20 and May 31, Sasikala and gang had visitors 18 times Sasikala 11 times, Ilavarasi five, and Sudhakaran two times.
In all, close to over 30 people visited the three prisoners. And in all cases, visitors were allowed only during the official 11 am- 5 pm bracket (earlier, visitors had been allowed at 6.20 pm, even at 6.40 pm).
“As per norms, in these two-and-a-half months, Sasikala should have been allowed five visits but she got 11. In the case of Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran, visits were within the specified number. Although officials claim that visits are covered under discretionary powers of the chief superintendent, it is so only under extraordinary
circumstances. They should explain what the extraordinary circumstance was in Sasikala’s case,” Murthy said.
Meanwhile, the RTI replies also showed that no work has been allotted to Sasikala as she was undergoing simple imprisonment and earning or working inside didn’t apply in her case. Also, she is not being allowed outside food and is being served only prison food.