9 Feb 2023 11:42 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court on Thursday disposed of Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita's plea seeking various facilities of prisoners in Tihar jail. Narwal and Kalita are accused in the larger conspiracy case of the 2020 North-East riots.Both Narwal and Kalita moved the plea in 2020 in wake of the restrictions imposed on account of COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting multiple issues faced by...
The Delhi High Court on Thursday disposed of Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita's plea seeking various facilities of prisoners in Tihar jail. Narwal and Kalita are accused in the larger conspiracy case of the 2020 North-East riots.
Both Narwal and Kalita moved the plea in 2020 in wake of the restrictions imposed on account of COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting multiple issues faced by undertrials inside the prison. They were granted bail by High Court in June 2021, against which appeal is pending before the Supreme Court.
As Narwal and Kalita’s counsel expressed apprehension that the facilities might not be resumed to them if the Supreme Court cancels their bail, Justice Prathiba M Singh granted them liberty to approach court again if such a situation arises.
The court said that no further orders are required to be passed in the matter, considering that the restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 are not applicable anymore and that the plea primarily dealt with facilities to be provided during the pandemic.
“The petition has run its course….it has become infructuous now,” the court said.
The court noted that the circular issued by Tihar jail on December 26 last year clearly states that the calling facility will be available to foreign inmates unless they are covered under the exception. The Delhi Prison Rules exclude prisoners involved in offences against the State, terrorist activities, MCOCA, National Security Act, Public Safety Act and otherwise involved in multiple heinous offences, from the facility in the interest of public safety and order.
The court in May 2021 passed a slew of directions on facilities to be provided to jail inmates including tele-calling facility, vaccination,e-mulaqats, monthly charges for calling facilities, physical mulaqats, IT infrastructure and computer centre in jail and legal aid.
However, during the course of hearings, the court was also considering the issue of extending the e-mulaakat facility to the foreign prisoners.
Superintendent of Tihar Jail told the court that the facility of e-mulaakat is not being extended to the foreign prisoners due to security reasons. However, it said that telephonic voice calls are allowed once a week to inmates whose family members are residing abroad, on request.
Title: NATASHA NARWAL & ANR v. STATE OF NCT DELHI & ANR
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 134
Click Here To Read Order