Murugan, Perarivalan inimical to each other: DG prisons tells HC

‘Lodging them back together in Puzhal would put safety of the prisoners at risk’


The Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services on Monday told the Madras High Court that there was pre-existing enmity between former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts Murugan alias V. Sriharan and A.G. Perarivalan. Therefore, both of them could not be lodged in the same prison, he added.

The submission was made in a counter-affidavit filed before Justices N. Kirubakaran and P. Velmurugan, who were seized of a habeas corpus petition filed by S. Padma to get her daughter S. Nalini and son-in-law Sriharan transferred from central prison in Vellore to the one at Puzhal.

Opposing such a plea, the DGP told the court that the Deputy Inspector General of Prisons, Vellore range, as well as the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Intelligence-cum-vigilance wing of prisons, had opined against transferring Nalini and Murugan from Vellore to Puzhal, where Perarivalan is lodged at present.

The officers had in their individual reports to the DGP stated that Murugan and Perarivalan had developed enmity when they were lodged in Vellore prison a few years ago, and hence lodging them together in Puzhal would put the safety and security of the prisoners at risk.

In the counter-affidavit served upon Nalini’s lawyers M. Radhakrishnan and P. Pugalenthi, the DGP also accused her of unruly behaviour, creating a ruckus and making suicide threats, besides indulging in intimidation and abusing prison staff.

Frequent quarrels

According to DGP I. Sunil Kumar Singh, Nalini was lodged with two other life convicts, Saral alias R. Santhi and K. Radha. There were frequent quarrel between them over cleaning their block.

Further, Nalini had begun to suspect Radha of having complained to the jail authorities that she was using a mobile phone, and hence picked up quarrels with her frequently.

When Radha made a request to the prison officials to shift her to some other block, Nalini opposed it and insisted that she should stay with her until she proves the charge of possessing a mobile phone.

In a fit of rage, Nalini also threatened to commit suicide and prevented the officials from discharging their duties.

She was punished with stoppage of prison canteen facilities for one month for her unruly behaviour, the DGP said and denied the petitioner's charge of her daughter being treated badly inside Vellore prison.

The DGP said Nalini was being allowed to make telephone calls as usual to her lawyers and also video calls to her mother and other family members within the country since personal interviews had been stopped now due to the threat of COVID-19. Though she was entitled to two phone calls, for a duration of seven minutes each every week, she had not shown much interest in making use of it.

On the other hand, she had made video calls to her relatives on 14 occasions between March 31 and June 26, the officer said, and termed as a blatant lie the petitioner’s claim that other prisoners were being allowed to talk to their lawyers, too, on video call.