A probe has revealed that All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader and close aide to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, VK Sasikala, received special privileges inside Parappana Agrahara Central Prison in Bengaluru.
The 59-year-old was convicted by the Supreme Court in February 2017 in a disproportionate assets case and jailed for four years along with her relatives Ilavarasi and VN Sudhakaran.
A 295-page report made by retired IAS officer Vinay Kumar exonerates the allegations made by former Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Prisons D Roopa that Sasikala was given special treatments including a separate wing, kitchen, a personal cook and a lot of visitors in the prison.
The report was submitted in November 2017 but was not made public. It points out several violations of the prison rulebook as Sasikala and Ilavarasi enjoyed free movement anywhere in the prison and had a countless number of visitors.
DIG Roopa had questioned the special status given to Sasikala in the prison. She also alleged that the jail officials, including then DGP HN Satyanarayana Rao, were bribed Rs 2 crore for giving special privileges, a claim rejected by him.
The issued had sparked a lot of controversies and Roopa was transferred to the traffic department and Rao, with only a few days left for his retirement, was asked to go on leave by the Siddaramiah-led Congress government.
A series of CCTV visuals show Sasikala and Ilavarasi walking inside the prison in her personal clothes and accessories that were not issued by the prison.
"These clips carry evidence of the fact that they have the freedom to use their personal clothing and are escorted by Superintendent Anitha, who had been appointed as their security in charge by the DGP & lG Prison," the report notes, as reported by Deccan Chronicle.
An investigation committee was formed by the government to look into the matter. After probing on the surveillance footages and register entries maintained by the jail authorities, it was found that several records of Sasikala and Ilavarasi meeting visitors had been falsified by the prison officials.
These events came into light after Narasimha Murthy, an activist, filed a query under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.