The High Court of Madras has sought response from the Tamil Nadu government and the Director General of State Prisons on a petition filed by YouTuber Savukku Shankar, alleging that eight inmates were subjected to repeated assault and torture by Cuddalore Jail Superintendent Senthil Kumar.
The Single-Judge Bench of Justice G. Chandrasekharan on Wednesday gave the respondent authorities one-week time to file their response.
The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court comprising Justice G.R. Swaminathan and Justice P. Pugalendhi had convicted Shankar on September 15 for criminal contempt over his comments on the judiciary, which he made in a video uploaded on his YouTube channel.
The High Court had taken suo motu cognisance of a video uploaded on July 22 on Shankar’s YouTube channel Redpix, in which he had allegedly said that the ‘entire’ judiciary was ‘riddled’ with corruption.
Shankar was lodged at Cuddalore Central Prison and remained an inmate from September 16 to November 19. He was released on November 19, following the Supreme Court order of November 11, wherein the Bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice J.K. Maheshwari suspended his sentence.
Shankar claimed that while he was at the prison, he learnt about eight inmates who were kept under solitary confinement and subjected to repeated assault and torture by Prison Superintendent Senthil Kumar.
The YouTuber said that after his release from the prison, he made several representations to the government of Tamil Nadu and the State Director General of Prisons, seeking release of these inmates and appropriate action against Kumar.
As per Shankar, since he did not receive any response from the authorities, he moved the High Court, praying for direction to the respondents to consider his representations and take appropriate disciplinary action against the officer.
(Case title: A Shankar Savukku Shankar vs State of Tamil Nadu and 2 others)