Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court (HC) on Tuesday directed its officials to verify if Bairi Naresh is subjected to solitary confinement and submit a report by the next hearing on January 31.
Justice B Vijaysen Reddy of the Telangana HC has asked its member secretary of Legal Services Authority, Hyderabad, to visit the Cherlapally Central Prison and inquire about the well-being of Naresh who is the accused of making derogatory remarks against Lord Ayyappa Swamy.
It further ordered an inquiry with the jail authorities whether it was possible to lodge Naresh in any other cell.
The move came in response to a plea filed by Sujatha, wife of Naresh, alleging that her husband was being abused in jail.
Sujatha in her plea alleged that Naresh was lodged in solitary confinement and requested the court to immediately transfer her husband to any under-trial prisoners unit.
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However, the Government Pleader (GP) argued that the jail authorities had not violated Naresh’s human rights in any way and that he was not put in 24-hour solitary confinement.
The GP further informed that the accused was granted access to all prisoner services, including prisoner interviews, phone calls, medical facilities, canteen, and so on, and he was free to travel within the confines of the Manasarovar prisoner barrack.
The GP claimed that the accused must have received a life threat even from his fellow inmates because of his comments that have hurt the sentiments of Ayyappa devotees and Hindus at large.
Though also said that the prisoner was the accused in a serious and sensational case, the jail authorities regularly checked for his well-being, added GP.
Sujatha’s counsel, on the other hand, said that the jail officials intentionally do not allow Naresh to communicate with the other detainees when he went to visit him personally.
“The prisoner has been assigned a one-hour time slot during which he is authorised to leave the barracks and is forced to spend most of his time in his cell,” the counsel remarked.
“Solitary confinement is not permitted for inmates awaiting trial,” counsel said.
Naresh was granted six meetings with family members and attorneys, as well as unfettered access to communicate with other convicts by the end of the hearing.