Court notice to Taloja jail superintendent

He denied entry to undertrials without virus test

The Thane court has issued a notice to the superintendent of Taloja jail for refusing entry to undertrials who had not been tested for COVID-19.

Kaustubh Kurlekar had denied admission to an accused, Amir Rais Shaikh, arrested by the Rabale police in a molestation case and another accused arrested by the Bangur Nagar police in a robbery case. Later, the respective police stations got them tested for COVID-19. While Mr. Shaikh’s sample returned negative and he was granted entry on April 24, the other accused was hospitalised after testing positive. Police personnel and court officials who came in contact with the accused have been home quarantined.

Mr. Kurlekar said he will explain to the court the importance of testing the accused before remanding them in judicial custody. He said, “Jail authorities do not have the power to escort the accused for medical tests. So after admission into prison, it would be difficult to get the tests done. If someone tests positive, it will pose a huge threat to the other inmates. One wrong entry and it will become an uphill task for the health department too. I will be replying to the court’s notice. It is important to make the court understand the dangers of admitting an accused without a COVID-19 test.”

The notice issued by Chief Judicial Magistrate R.J. Tambe on April 23 said as per the Jail Manual and the Prisons Act, 1894, the superintendent is bound to receive the accused. It said under Section 7 of the Act, the official should make temporary arrangements for shelter and safe custody for inmates in an epidemic. It also said the official would be committing contempt of court if he continues to deny entry to undertrials.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 2:14:27 PM |

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