Pune: After a direction from the Mumbai High Court, the State government has made uniform rules for lawyers meeting prisoners and also formed a committee to inspect the quality of food served to prisoners in jails.
The judgment was in response to separate writ petitions filed by Jan Adalat, a city-based centre of para-legal services and legal aid, and Ganesh Shankar Pawar, who was then an undertrial prisoner in
Jan Adalat had challenged Yerwada jail superintendent’s communication of August 24, 2015, laying down specific timings for lawyers to meet their clients in jail after meeting certain conditions.
It was argued that the communication was contrary to the provisions under the Maharashtra Prisons (Facilities to the Prisoners) Rules, 1962. The prescribed timings were inconvenient, as they clashed with the working hours of the court.
As per the recommendations of the Additional DGP of prisons department, the government has come out with the uniform rules for jail visits by lawyers for various prisons.
Also, a committee comprising the district civil surgeon and a male and a female social worker has been formed to make surprise visits to all jails for testing the quality and quantity of food served to prisoners, as well as the cleanliness and hygiene in the kitchens in the jails.
The committees will make surprise visits (without prior intimation to the jail officers), at least once in a month and regularly and punctually submit a report to the Inspector General of Prisons for taking