Taking serious note of the allegations that a life convict was tortured in the central prison, the Kerala High Court on Friday directed the Thiruvananthapuram District Magistrate and District Medical Officer to visit the jail in the state capital and report on his condition.
A Division Bench gave the order in a habeas corpus plea filed by parents of Tittu Jerome, convicted in the Kevin murder case, alleging torture by Thiruvananthapuram Poojappura central prison officials against their son.
The report was filed at 4 pm today, saying that Jerome was shifted to the Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram after doctors suggested that he required treatment for the injury he suffered in the jail. Considering the report, the Bench directed that the Additional Director General of Police (Prison) conduct an enquiry and forward an interim report to the Additional Judge II, Thiruvananthapuram on or before 12.00 noon Saturday.
It directed that the convict be provided a guard in the Medical College Hospital from the police force and no central prison personnel should be allowed access to him. The court also directed the Thiruvananthapuram city police commissioner to provide ample protection and also ensure his proper detention at the Medical College Hospital.
Earlier, while directing the district judge and district medical officer to visit Poojappura Central Jail and report the condition of Jerome by 4 pm today itself, the court observed that "Right to punish is with the courts" and it will not allow eye for an eye, tooth for tooth practices. Jerome was among the 10 people awarded double life sentence by the Principal Sessions Court, Kottayam, in 2019 for the honour killing of a 23-year-old Dalit Christian man in 2018, which had triggered widespread protests across the state.