Nearly two weeks after Tihar Jail inmates went on a strike protesting against the rule propounding once-a-week meeting with their families, an advocate on Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of a standing order by which an undertrial inmate could meet his lawyer only once a week.
Advocate Amit Sahni also sought directions to the jail authorities for providing better facilities to the advocates who visit the Jail for the purpose of legal interview including a proper place to sit, drinking water, parking/entry sticker for vehicles etc.
A Bench headed by Acting Chief Justice B.D. Ahmed issued notices to Delhi Government’s Director-General Prisonand also the Delhi High Court Bar Association and the Bar Council of Delhi, which were made parties by the petitioner, saying that being body of advocates, they are capable of providing assistance to the court in framing guidelines in connection with the issue. The order under challenge was passed on February 27, 2013, and ruled that an inmate can meet his lawyer only once a week and cannot meet his family member for such interview if the member is an advocate by profession.
Prior to passing of the order, legal interview with inmates was done on all days from Monday to Friday (except holidays).
Mr. Sahni said the order is against the right of a prisoner to seek legal advice and “curtailing the right of any prisoner under the garb of impugned standing order to have legal interview once a week is bad in law and against the constitutional provisions.