The court also pointed out that there were no proper arrangements for the families and advocates to meet prisoners in jail.
Mumbai: Taking serious note of overcrowding and the unhygienic conditions in which prisoners are kept in jails, the Bombay high court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to construct additional jails across the state.
The court also told the state government to start constructing adequate toilets and bathrooms in all the existing jails within six months. In a comprehensive order, the HC also directed the state to appoint dieticians and social activists in each district, who would periodically visit jails and check the food quality and report to the district judge. The HC was hearing a criminal PIL filed by an NGO named Janadalat that sought tackling of problems faced by prisoners in the state.
A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice A.A. Sayed was hearing criminal PIL filed by Janadalat, who placed the problems of prisoners including woman prisoners. On Wednesday, the bench had given comprehensive order in which the court had covered all the major problems faced by prisoners.
The court in his 58-page order has directed the state government to provide facilities to prisoners. The court also pointed out that there were no proper arrangements for the families and advocates to meet prisoners in jail.
The court further said there should be well-equipped hospital inside the prison. “In fact, the prison hospitals in central prisons should have all the modern amenities so that prisoners are not required to be admitted to public or private hospitals,” the court said.
On the issue of children staying with their mothers at the Byculla womens’ prison, the court said the government should decide up to what age children could be permitted to stay with their mothers.