“Sasikala has not violated any rules of the Karnataka prisons manual anytime,” Sasikala’s counsel told PTI.

Vinay Kumar panel findings Sasikalas counsel threatens legal actionFile image/ PTI
news Controversy Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 10:38

Days after the Vinay Kumar probe committee report vindicated IPS officer Roopa, who had raised a complaint about the special treatment being given to VK Sasikala, the latter’s counsel has denied the same. A Ashokan, the counsel for the ousted AIADMK General Secretary and close aide of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa told PTI that they would take legal action once they receive a copy of the report.

According to the Times of India, A Ashokan alleged that IPS officer Roopa was being intentionally defamatory. The counsel reportedly said, “The prison is under CCTV surveillance, which covers the main gate as well. The cameras would have captured it if she had gone out of the jail.”

“Sasikala has not violated any rules of the Karnataka prisons manual anytime. She is wearing personal clothes as per the prison rules. The allegations are all wrong," he told PTI.

On Monday, Sasikala's counsel also said that since Sasikala was serving simple imprisonment, she was allowed to wear plainclothes. As per the Karnataka prison manual, Sasikala, who was convicted in the Disproportionate Assets case, was permitted not to wear the prison uniform, the lawyer said. He also said that the videos of Sasikala and Ilavarasi walking in the corridor was of the duo on their way to meet visitors inside the prison premises. The bag in Sasikala’s hand contained legal documents, he said.

In mid-2017, the allegation of special privileges to some prisoners including Sasikala and Abdul Karim Telgi had caused a flutter. IPS officer Roopa, who was the DIG of Prisons Karnataka at the time, had submitted a report where she alleged a quid-pro-quo arrangement between jail officials and high profile prisoners. The report was submitted to the then-DGP Prisons HN Satyanarayana Rao (who disagreed with Roopa) – and was also leaked to the media.

Roopa had alleged that an entire corridor with five cells was cordoned off for Sasikala (and Ilavarasi) to use exclusively. Photos and videos emerged of a well-stocked prison cell as well as the Sasikala-Ilavarasi duo seemingly walking out of a corridor with a shopping bag in hand. A probe panel constituted under retired IAS officer Vinay Kumar found the allegations to be true. The report was made public last week, provoking strong political reactions in Tamil Nadu.

The Amma Munnetra Makkal Kalagam (AMMK), led by Sasikala's nephew TTV Dhinakaran, alleged that the findings were politically motivated.