The Madras High Court today ordered notice to Tamil Nadu government on a PIL, seeking to fill existing vacancies for the posts of welfare officer and social worker in Special Prisons, central Prisons and Borstal Schools in the state.
Justices V Ramasubramanian and N Kirubakaran, hearing a PIL by an advocate L M Vijayaboominathan, ordered notice returnable within two weeks, to the Home Secretary (Prisons), the Additional Director General of Prisons and the IG of Prisons.
The petitioner submitted that the posts were vacant in nine Central Prisons, special prison for women and Borstal school in Tamil Nadu.
In Madurai, Palayamkottai and Tiruchirapalli prisons staff were working as welfare officers and doing additional duty.
As per Rule 117 of Tamil Nadu Prisons Act, a Welfare Officer had many duties, including arranging for correspondence prisoners with the relatives, help to keep family ties strong, render help in the settlement of civil claims, help and protect families of prisoners, help contact legal aid and appeal of mercy petition.
The social worker, as per Rule 116, would classify the problems of inmates and deal with their difficulties in institutional life, conduct individual counselling, establish cooperation and understanding between prisoners and also help the Superintendent of Prison classify prisoners.
The petitioner said though he had submitted a representation to the officials and requested them to fill the vacancies as per rules, nothing had been done so far. Hence he moved court.
( Source – PTI )