Supreme Court set asides Plea Seeking raise in Prison Visits for Inmates in Delhi Jails

Author : Nimisha Nayak

Updated On : February 14, 2024

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In its latest ruling, the Supreme Court of India dismissed a petition raised for increasing the allowed visits by the known ones of the prisoners in the jails of Delhi. Jai A. Dehadrai and Anr. vs. Govt. of Delhi of NCT had challenged the Rule 585 of the Delhi Prison Rules, 2018 for restricting the rights of prisoners to two meetings per week.

The petition has been filed as a response to the Delhi High Court’s ruling in February 2023 that rejected the plea to amend the Delhi Prison Rules.

In the present petition, presiding over the bench, Justice Bela M. Trivedi and Justice Pankaj Mithal stressed that amending these rules could result in deprivation of managing prison and its affairs by the authorities.

During the proceedings, Justice Bela M. Trivedi stated, underscoring the prisoners, “Do not forget you (prisoners) are accused. Where is the question of relaxation? These are policy matters. It will become difficult for jail authorities to manage so many visits. There have to be restrictions, even for undertrials."

The petitioners argued about the matter in question, overcrowding inside the prisons, and demanding relaxation since technologies surrounding video conferencing and video calls could be used for repeated and frequent interactions. They further argued that the Delhi prison rules should provide for the provision, for prisoners, of enabling an end number of interactions with the legal consultants for the entire week and not limiting it to certain days of the week.

Counsels for the petitioners laid a comparative analysis of prison regulations in other developed countries by pointing out that they do not restrict the prisoners regarding the number of meetings with legal consultants to that of harsh regulations under Delhi rules.

Keeping aside the arguments of the petitioner, the apex court refused to consider their demand by stating that they couldn’t interfere with the matter. By disallowing their plea, the Supreme Court showed their agreement with the Delhi High Court’s decision to uphold Rule 585 of the Delhi Prison Rules, 2018, which was challenged on the grounds that it led to the violation of the rights of the prisoners to seek and access justice as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Anyhow, the court is of the opinion that, keeping in mind the concern of overcrowding in prisons, the restrictions imposed on the visits and interactions between the prisoners and their families and the legal representatives should continue to exist. It is necessary for the authorities to function properly.

Supreme Court set asides Plea Seeking raise in Prison Visits for Inmates in Delhi Jails

Author : Nimisha Nayak

February 14, 2024

SHARE

In its latest ruling, the Supreme Court of India dismissed a petition raised for increasing the allowed visits by the known ones of the prisoners in the jails of Delhi. Jai A. Dehadrai and Anr. vs. Govt. of Delhi of NCT had challenged the Rule 585 of the Delhi Prison Rules, 2018 for restricting the rights of prisoners to two meetings per week.

The petition has been filed as a response to the Delhi High Court’s ruling in February 2023 that rejected the plea to amend the Delhi Prison Rules.

In the present petition, presiding over the bench, Justice Bela M. Trivedi and Justice Pankaj Mithal stressed that amending these rules could result in deprivation of managing prison and its affairs by the authorities.

During the proceedings, Justice Bela M. Trivedi stated, underscoring the prisoners, “Do not forget you (prisoners) are accused. Where is the question of relaxation? These are policy matters. It will become difficult for jail authorities to manage so many visits. There have to be restrictions, even for undertrials."

The petitioners argued about the matter in question, overcrowding inside the prisons, and demanding relaxation since technologies surrounding video conferencing and video calls could be used for repeated and frequent interactions. They further argued that the Delhi prison rules should provide for the provision, for prisoners, of enabling an end number of interactions with the legal consultants for the entire week and not limiting it to certain days of the week.

Counsels for the petitioners laid a comparative analysis of prison regulations in other developed countries by pointing out that they do not restrict the prisoners regarding the number of meetings with legal consultants to that of harsh regulations under Delhi rules.

Keeping aside the arguments of the petitioner, the apex court refused to consider their demand by stating that they couldn’t interfere with the matter. By disallowing their plea, the Supreme Court showed their agreement with the Delhi High Court’s decision to uphold Rule 585 of the Delhi Prison Rules, 2018, which was challenged on the grounds that it led to the violation of the rights of the prisoners to seek and access justice as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Anyhow, the court is of the opinion that, keeping in mind the concern of overcrowding in prisons, the restrictions imposed on the visits and interactions between the prisoners and their families and the legal representatives should continue to exist. It is necessary for the authorities to function properly.

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