PIL seeks conjugal visitation rights of prisoners

A petition moved before the Delhi High Court has sought to hold conjugal visits in jail as a fundamental right of prisoners and their spouses.

The petition was filed by lawyer and social activist Amit Sahni. It said conjugal visitation rights were not provided in prisons in the State though most of the prisoners fall under sexually active age group,

“Despite courts taking a progressive approach and various countries allowing conjugal visits considering it an important human right and also in the light of studies backing conjugal visits as a factor to cut down crimes in jail and reform inmates, the Delhi Prison Rules, 2018 are totally silent on the issue,” the petition said.

At present Delhi has three prison complexes — one at Tihar which is the largest prison complex in the world comprising nine central prisons, second is District Prison at Rohini Prison Complex and third is Mandoli Prison Complex.

These prisons house a population of 15,733 with 15,163 male and 570 female inmates, the petition said.

“The conjugal visit cannot be denied to prisoners on the ground of already existing provisions of parole and furlough, which in any case, are not available to undertrial prisoners,” the plea said.

“Conjugal visits are to meet the fundamental and human rights of those incarcerated and also the spouses of those behind bars who suffer without having done anything wrong,” Mr. Sahni said.

The petition also sought direction to set aside Rule 608 of Delhi Prison Rule, 2018 which mandates the presence of a prison officer when a prisoner is meeting his or her spouse.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 4:00:31 pm |