Kolkata, Jan 18 (IANS) Six AMRI Hospital directors, jailed in connection with the Dec 9, 2011, fire in the medical centre that claimed 94 lives, Wednesday approached a court here seeking facilities like bed, newspapers, chairs and table, among others, in their cells. A proclamation order against three other hospital directors was also stayed till Feb 20.
The arrested directors claimed that as per law they deserved to be treated like division I prisoners, entitled to special facilities in jail.
Pradeep Bose, counsel for the hospital, said: “As per law, the accused are entitled to several benefits like a bed, table, chairs and reading lamps which they have not been provided yet by the jail authorities (at Alipore Central Correctional Home).”
“We have approached the court to seek those facilities,” said Bose.
As per the West Bengal Correctional Services Act, a prisoner, convicted or undertrial, who by his social status, education and habits of life is found to have been accustomed to a superior mode of living, is classified as a division I prisoner.
A divison I prisoner is entitled to facilities like bed, chairs, toiletries, utensils of good quality for cooking, newspapers and other reading material, among others, subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed. The facilities are not available to habitual offenders.
Bose said the directors’ health had rapidly deteriorated as they had not been provided amenities they were entitled to inside the jail.
The hospital also got a stay on a proclamation issued earlier against three other directors, who have allegedly been evading arrest. Additional District Judge Asit Dey stayed till Feb 20 the order of proclamation issued Jan 6 by a lower court.
“The proclamation order passed was bad in law as the time given to the accused for surrendering was less than 30 days which is the minimum required time available under the law. We moved a higher court today and got a stay on the order till Feb 20,” said AMRI counsel Salim Rahaman.
Along with the six directors, two employees of the hospital are also behind bars while another director, also an accused, is under arrest and currently admitted to a state-run hospital.