Plea seeks directions to provide masks, sanitisers to jail inmates

Petitioner sought setting up of isolation wards on prison premises

A public interest petition moved before the Delhi High Court has sought directions to the Delhi government and the prison authorities to immediately provide masks and hand sanitisers to all the inmates in Tihar Jail and other jails of Delhi.

The petition filed by advocate Vikas Padora has also sought directions to spray disinfectants or quarantine the jail premises. Mr. Padora also sought to set up isolation wards in the jail premises where the infected inmate or inmate having symptoms can be lodged safely.

The petition, which is likely to be heard this week, urged the court to give directions so that the spread of COVID-19 can be contained as much as possible in the jails across India.

‘Beyond capacity’

“As per the data available, Tihar jail has a capacity of 5,200 inmates, but more than 12,100 inmates are currently lodged in the jail, which clearly shows that the prison in Tihar jail is excessively overcrowded and functioning beyond its capacity,” the petition said.

“The same is the situation with most of the jails in India,” Mr. Padora added.

Mr. Padora stated that on March 17, he received a copy of letter sent by one inmate Raminder Singh through one of his visitor friend. “In the same letter, apart from requesting his own interim bail, the inmate informed the petitioner about the conditions inside the jail during this period of spread of COVID-19,” the plea said.

“It is most respectfully submitted that the said letter clearly depicts that the inmates inside jail are living in a constant fear of disease and which is making the life of inmates worse than it already was being inside jail,” the petition stated.

The advocate argued that all the jails in India are required to install isolation wards in their premises and take immediate measures to control the possible outbreak of COVID-19.

He sought “suitable directions” to the Centre to issue appropriate orders to all the jails across India. “Even if one case of COVID-19 goes undetected in any jail, there will not be any stoppage to the same and thereafter the same will not be controlled easily, and which may lead to unprecedented outbreak of virus and unprecedented deaths in the jails,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 3:27:47 PM |

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