New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Disposing a plea filed by Iran's Consulate General that accused a senior Tamil Nadu prison official of committing atrocities, the Supreme Court on Friday granted it liberty to move the Madras High Court on the matter.
"The Jail Superintendent is able to topple all investigations and inquiry easily because naturally no one dares to depose against his atrocities committed under the swathe of duty. The present convict, being a foreigner, has somehow shown guts to approach the petitioner (Consulate of Iran)...," read the plea filed by the Consulate General of Islamic Republic of Iran, while coming to the rescue of two Iranians lodged in Puzhal Central Jail in Chennai after their conviction in a Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act case.
A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy heard the petition, filed through Advocate on Record Rajiv Raheja.
The petition claimed that prison Superintendent Senthil Kumar had committed atrocities and had been summoned by the top court in a contempt case, as well as by the High Court for various inappropriate acts.
"Criminal complaints filed by victims of his torture are pending before various courts and criminal investigations on these grave charges are also pending," said the plea.
The plea said Iranians Mosavi Masood and Mohammad Zaffari are lodged in Puzhal Central Jail in Chennai, and they fear for their lives from other prisoners who are under the influence of Kumar.
The plea claimed that it is reliably learnt that alleged atrocities committed by him on the jail inmates are innumerable.
The Consulate General urged the top court to order presentation of the said prisoners in court and direct authorities concerned to keep them in safe custody till the process of repatriation to their native country is completed and they are safely handed over to Iranian authorities.
The petition also sought that both the inmates should be provided with necessary amenities as per the "Nelson Mandela Rules", which are the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
The two Iranian nationals were arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu on charge of manufacturing methamphetamine in March 2013. On March 9, 2018, an NDPS Special Court had awarded them 20 years of rigorous imprisonment.
The plea cited that in December 2018, Iranian Consul General to India Mohammad Haghbin Ghomi had met Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and conveyed the grievances of the two Iranian convicts.
Additionally, the plea also sought a judicial inquiry against the Prison Superintendent along with his suspension until the completion of inquiry, apart from compensation of Rs 1 crore each to Masood and Zaffrani.