August 5, 2011 1:19:37 am
The Maharashtra Prisons Department has taken a strong objection to a recent court order allowing 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts accused Lt Col Prasad Purohit to use a laptop in jail. Ajay Rahirkar and Shankaracharya Swami Dayanand Pandey,who are also accused in the case,have also approached the court for permission to use laptops in jail.
The Prisons Department has now written to the special MCOCA court requesting it to review its order and has decided to challenge it if the request is turned down. Earlier this week,superintendents of all prisons in Mumbai and across the state were issued strict directions under the Maharashtra Prisons Manual not to allow the use of laptops by inmates.
Sources said Purohit had applied to the special MCOCA court for use of laptop in Taloja Jail,stating unless he had access to it,his wife would have to travel from Pune just to move applications on his behalf. On June 30,the court granted Purohit permission to use his laptop in jail.
The courts order states that the use of a laptop can be permitted,but in accordance with prison manual rules. There is no rule in the prison manual allowing the use of a laptop since there was no such technology available when the manual was drafted. However,the Prisons Department feels laptops could be misused in jails and all inmates should be treated on par. Therefore,it has written to the court asking it to review its order. If the order remains,it will be challenged in a higher court, said an official,who did not wish to be named.
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Under the authority of the IG Prisons,clear instructions have been issued to all jail superintendents in the state not to allow prisoners to use laptops since they can be misused either for illegal communication or for accessing obscene content. The orders have been issued under Rule 10 of Chapter 38 of the Prisons Manual,which deals with conduct of prison inmates, said the official.
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