STATE

Madras HC acts on lack of legal aid for prisoners

By Express News Service

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday summoned the Member Secretary of Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority (TNSLSA) after being informed that many prisoners were unable to avail legal assistance to file appeals.

A Bench of Justices V Bharathidasan and J Nisha Banu gave the direction while hearing an appeal filed by a life convict, S Pathipoornam of Tirunelveli, who has been in jail for 25 years as he had no legal aid to challenge his conviction.

Pathipoornam was in November 1996 convicted of sexually assaulting and murdering a woman. But he was able to get legal aid only in 2018, and thereafter filed an appeal. Pathipoornam’s counsel told the court that similarly many convicts are languishing in jail without legal assistance.

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