The three central jails in the capital will soon have X-ray-based full human body scanners. This will happen after the Delhi High Court-constituted four-member committee examines the scanners’ efficacy and safety for human use, and thereafter install the same as a “pilot project in one or two prisons” in the city.
Faced with the problem of prisoners smuggling prohibited articles into jails, Justice Mukta Gupta ordered that the committee submit its compliance report before the next date of hearing, July 29.
“Since the installation of body scanners would require some expertise to find out which would be the right X-ray body scanner available, can be used most judiciously and has least harmful effects on the body of human beings who are subjected to the same, this court deems it fit to constitute a committee headed by Chief Secretary, Delhi, with the Principal Secretary (Home) GNCTD and Head, Radiological Safety Division from AERB and DG (Prisons) as their members,” the court order reads.
The installation of a human body scanner cropped up during hearing of a plea by a woman — Syed Kauser — who has sought a probe into the attack on her son in Tihar Jail on September 17, 2017, by 30-40 police personnel.
The court noted: “The necessity to consider this arose because the petitioner alleged that her son was beaten up in jail…the entire prison is covered by CCTVs, however, when this court asked for CCTV footage, it was revealed that the CCTV was not functional.”
“Besides, the CCTVs in working condition being installed at every place in the prisons i.e. three Central jails in Delhi at Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli Jail, the issue also arose of getting X-ray based full body scanners in all jails,” it said.
Delhi government standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra told the court that the proposal for installation of 5,692 cameras in city’s jails has been approved and Rs 120 crore allocated: “The government is in the process of procuring the machines… installation will start after that.”