IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS DATE:13-10-2009 CORAM: THE HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE P.JYOTHIMANI W.P.Nos.20312 of 2009 ..... Ramakrishnan ... Petitioner vs. 1.The District Collector & Magistrate Office of District Collector Coimbatore City. 2.The Superintendent Central Prison Coimbatore. 3.State by Intelligence Officer Narcotics Control Bureau NCBF.No.48/1/1/2008-NCB/MDS Chennai. ... Respondents Writ petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for the issue of a writ of Certiorarified Mandamus as stated therein. For petitioner : Mr.V.Gopinath,Sr.Counsel for Mr.R.John Sathyan For respondents : Mr.V.Arun,AGP .. ORDER
Heard Mr.V.Gopinath, learned senior counsel for the petitioner and Mr.V.Arun, learned Additional Government Pleader who has taken notice on behalf of the respondents and made his submissions on instructions.
2. The petitioner was arrayed as an accused in C.C.No.100 of 2008 pending before the Court of the Special Judge for EC & NDPS Act Cases, Coimbatore for the alleged offence under Sections 22,23,25,26,27A,29,53 read with 59 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
2(a). The petitioner was arrested and remanded to judicial custody on 26.01.2008 and he has been in jail for the past 19 months. After his arrest, he moved a petition in Cr.M.P.No.580 of 2008 before the Court of Special Judge for EC & NDPS Act Cases, Coimbatore under Rule 815 of the Tamil Nadu Prison Manual to provide him special class and the learned Judge, after considering the rival contentions made by both the parties, by order dated 20.11.2008, has made initial recommendation to the petitioner for special class subject to approval of the District Collector & Magistrate, first respondent herein.
2(b). It was, thereafter, the first respondent, has passed the impugned order rejecting the initial recommendation of the Special Court and refusing to give special class to the petitioner in the prison. Hence, the present writ petition.
3. A reference to the impugned order passed by the first respondent makes it clear that the order does not disclose the reason on which the rejection was made. On the other hand, in the order dated 20.11.2008, the learned Special Judge for EC & NDPS Act Cases, Coimbatore, has discussed the factual aspects as to how the petitioner is entitled to special class. In fact, the Special Court has gone into the correctness of the salary certificate of the petitioner and after considering the same, the initial recommendation order has been passed. However, the first respondent, who, as per Rule 815 of the Tamil Nadu Prison Manual, has to pass orders, has not applied his mind at all.
4. In this regard it is relevant to point out that Rule 815 of the Tamil Nadu Prison Manual prescribes the classification among the prisoners, which is as follows:
” 815. Classification.- (1) Under trial prisoners shall be of two classes, namely special and ordinary. The former class shall consist of those who by special status, education and habit of life have been accustomed to a superior mode of living. Court5s shall make the initial recommendations for classification in the special class to the District Magistrate by whom the recommendations shall be approved or reviewed. Prisoners recommended for classification in the special class shall be tentatively treated as belonging to that class until the orders of the concerned District Magistrate approving or reviewing the recommendations are received.
5. A reading of the said clause makes it very clear that in cases where special class category is to be given, it is the duty of the authority to consider the educational qualifications, habits of life with which the accused is accustomed, the mode of living, etc., for the purpose of conferring special status. While that is so, the order of the first respondent, which is bereft of any particulars is liable to be set aside and accordingly, the same is set aside and the matter is remitted to the first respondent with direction to the first respondent to consider and pass orders based on the initial recommendation passed by the Special Judge for EC & NDPS Act Cases, Coimbatore in Cr.M.P.No.580 of 2008 in C.C.No.100 of 2008 dated 20.11.2008 and such order shall be passed by the first respondent within two weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
The writ petition is ordered accordingly. No costs.
4.The District Collector & Magistrate
Office of District Collector
Central Prison Coimbatore.
6.State by Intelligence Officer
Narcotics Control Bureau