If security is Sasikala's concern, then a transfer to Tihar will keep her safe
It has been a week since AIADMK interim general secretary Sasikala Natarajan was convicted and sent to the Bengaluru central prison after being convicted in the Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case. The media is going to town with stories on what she wears and what she eats and that she is desperately seeking a transfer to a jail in Tamil Nadu.
A prisoner swap programme is available and if both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu agree for a transfer. However, with a (Tamil Nadu) government in place that is so 'friendly' to her, the chances are remote.
If the Karnataka government refuses to entertain her plea, then she would have to move the special court which tried the case and in case she fails there as well, the petition could be filed in the Karnataka high court and subsequently the Supreme Court.
So what will Sasikala cite as the reason for her transfer? She cannot write that she is feeling 'home sick'. The obvious ground would be threat to life and security reasons. There was violence when she arrived in Bengaluru on Wednesday last. The police are probing to find out if the violence was a stage-managed one. One must also add a report playing out in some television channel on Tuesday which spoke about how contract killers were waiting to kill her.
If security is the primary reason, then the best option would be to transfer her to the Tihar jail. The Tihar jail in Delhi has comparatively better security than all other jails in India. There is no rule that a court should agree to the choice of jail made by the convict. It is entirely up to the discretion of the court to decide on which jail she should be lodged in.
If one goes by the Intelligence Bureau reports, there is 'NO' threat to Sasikala's life in Bengaluru. "The reports you get to see in the media are created says an IB officer. Considering the kind of reactions one witnessed in Tamil Nadu when she attempted to become the CM, there appears to be a bigger threat over there.
Mockery of justice:
Many would say that Sasikala asking for a change of jail is nothing but mockery of justice. There was a reason why the disproportionate assets case was shifted to Karnataka by the Supreme Court of India. The SC felt that a fair trial was impossible in Tamil Nadu and hence the case was shifted.
When a trial is held in a particular state, the law mandates that the convicted person remains in a jail of the same state. Sasikala was handed out a simple imprisonment which means she does not need to do heavy jobs in jail. However, according to the jail authorities, there are no VVIP facilities doled out to her. The authorities are also very strict about her meetings with her family, party men and supporters. only two visits are scheduled per week.
The same cannot be guaranteed in Tamil Nadu. Karnataka, (the prosecuting state) can argue that the complete ends of the justice may not be met if she is transferred to a jail in TN. If, security is the concern since the two states fight over the Cauvery issue, then why a jail in TN. Why not Delhi, AP, Madhya Pradesh or somewhere else?