Madras HC orders TN govt to send 282 inmates back to St Joseph’s Hospice

Madras HC orders TN govt to send 282 inmates back to St Joseph’s Hospice

Suresh Kumar| TNN | Mar 27, 2018, 13:22 IST

Madras High Court

CHENNAI: Shocked over the deaths of 12 among the 294 inmates of St Joseph’s Hospice who had been forcibly removed from the home by authorities in view of various complaints against it, the Madras high court on Tuesday ordered the Kancheepuram police to immediately hand over the custody of the remaining 282 back to the hospice.

A division bench headed by Justice C T Selvam directed the Kancheepuram district social welfare officer to appear before the court on Wednesday and explain the causes of the deaths.

The court passed the interim directions on a habeas corpus plea moved by the hospice seeking to produce 294 inmates of the home, who had been allegedly removed by the authorities, and to set them at liberty.

According to the petitioner, the institution, established in 2011, was providing care and protection to the dying destitute, who were abandoned and orphaned by their family at public places.

In its petition, the hospice said due to mala fide or vested interest, local politician G Karunakaran, in collusion with a contractor, who constructed the hospice buildings, demanded illegal money from it.

On refusal, he created and induced the authorities and made several anonymous complaints against the petitioner, assassinating the character of members of the institution.

As a result, 294 inmates of the home, were shifted to some unknown places by the authorities. Their whereabouts were not known and they were kept in illegal custody, the petitioner said.

“We came to know that the inmates were kept as captives at a secluded place and not given food and basic requirements. Many of them were dropped on roads. One among them returned to the hospice on his own. In this connection, we sent a representation dated March 21, but there was no response from the authorities prompting us to move the court,” the petitioner said.


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