Delhi High Court has issued notice in a plea challenging the validity of theDelhi Government's order dated 25/03/20 wherein the legal interviews with the prisoners lodged in Delhi prisons have been suspended in light of COVID19.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan has issued notice to the Delhi Government who is also directed to file a status report before the next date of hearing.
Filed by Mr Ajit P Singh, the plea challenges the decision of the Delhi Government to suspend legal interviews conducted by lawyers with the prisoners.
As per the said order, the prisoners are not allowed to engage lawyers of their choice for legal interviews. The order only allows Jail Visiting lawyers, who are empanelled with Delhi State Legal Services Authority, to draft the bail applications of the concerned prisoners.
As per the Petitioner, the said suspension of legal interviews violates Articles 20, 21 and 22 of the Constitution.
The said order, as per the Petitioner, has deprived the prisoners in Delhi prisons of their right to fair opportunity to approach appropriate courts for legal remedy.
The Petitioner has argued that the Right to engage a lawyer of one's choice is a fundamental right of a prisoner which cannot be taken away even during the lockdown.
'Respondent has compelled the Delhi Jail inmates to take legal consultation only through Jain visiting Advocates of Delhi Legal Services Authority. Hence, the Respondent has violated the fundamental rights of the Delhi Jail inmates under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the constitution of India', the petition states.
The court will next take up the matter on June 29.
The Petitioner in this case was represented by Advocate Luv Kumar Agarwal
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