A BHOPAL district court on Friday rejected the Madhya Pradesh government’s plea challenging the permission given to a lawyer to meet SIMI activists kept as undertrials at Bhopal Central Jail.
This comes two days after Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Bhopal, Bhubhaskar Yadav had on Wednesday permitted advocate Parvez Alam to visit SIMI activists, whom he represents in various cases, for 20 minutes in the jail. The CJM had pulled up the prosecution for not informing the court about the jailbreak by the SIMI undertrials and the subsequent police encounter on October 31.
Alam has alleged that other SIMI activists in jail are being harassed and tortured after the police encounter.
Before the meeting could take place, the government filed a revision plea in the district court on Thursday seeking cancellation of the chief judicial magistrate’s order. The government contended that there is no provision in the jail manual to allow a lawyer to visit his clients in jail.
ADJ Ramkumar Choube held that the government’s revision plea was not maintainable, and observed that Rules 694 and 695 of the jail manual permit a lawyer to meet clients in jail.
The prosecution opposed the lawyer’s visit arguing that it would set a precedent and that the jail department would be flooded with such requests from lawyers, leveling similar allegations against the jail department.
Government advocate Anand Tiwari said the proposed visit will take place in keeping with provisions of the jail manual.
Earlier in the day, Alam, counsel for the SIMI activists, went to the jail around 11 am but was not allowed to meet his clients.
The jail authorities reportedly told him that the case was sensitive and that he should first file a written application. “When the CJM order had already reached the jail authorities they had no reason to seek a fresh application. But they made me wait for an hour before disallowing the meeting,’’ Alam told The Indian Express. “After ensuring that I was not carrying any weapon, etc, they should have let me meet my clients.”
Alam said he would meet his clients on Saturday but is apprehensive that jail officials would not facilitate his visit.