The Delhi High Court has asked jail authorities, Delhi government and Delhi state legal services authority to hold a meeting with senior advocate Colin Gonsalves to come up with a plan for better security in the city’s prisons.
The direction was issued during hearing on a set of PILs on the alleged torture of prisoners and the deteriorating law and order situation in Delhi’s jails.
The bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath directed that the meeting with Gonsalves, who has been representing NGO Marg in the PILs, should include law officer Sunil Gupta and standing counsel Rahul Mehra.
The court also took note of a status report filed by the prison authorities, stating the government is looking into implementation of the suggestions given by the committee of visiting judges to improve the situation in Tihar jail
In its affidavit, the government has said it has installed 258 CCTV cameras inside the jail premises, and would soon be installing 233 more cameras.
There is also a proposal to “cover the entire jail premises” with CCTV cameras. However, the NGO has raised an issue regarding archiving of the footage, since it is, at present, kept only for seven days.
The affidavit further states all prisoners are taken through body scanners, including X-ray scanners and metal detectors, at entry and exit points in the jail to prevent smuggling of weapons or blades.
Further, the government has said medical facilities are provided in the jail hospitals as well as by taking prisoners
to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital and other government hospitals.
However, the affidavit admitted there is a shortage of medical staff in the jail, with only 68 doctors working against 110 sanctioned posts, and 118 paramedical staff against 155 sanctioned posts.
The court asked for a detailed report on the suggestions given by the NGO and the DLSA regarding constitution of the jail visitors’ board, grievance redressal system and other measures to increase the security as well as provide protection to prisoners in Delhi jails.