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'In Violation of Prison Rules, Jail Officials Privy To Legal Interviews With Counsel': Pinjra Tod Member Natasha Narwal Tells Delhi HC

Karan Tripathi
29 Jun 2020 11:52 AM GMT
In Violation of Prison Rules, Jail Officials Privy To Legal Interviews With Counsel: Pinjra Tod Member Natasha Narwal Tells Delhi HC
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Pinjra Tod member Natasha Narwal who is facing charges under UAPA for FIRs registered against her concerning the Delhi riots, told the Delhi High Court on Monday that contrary to prison rules, jail officials are being made privy to her privileged communication with her counsel.

While giving the said information to the Single Bench of Justice C Hari Shankar, Narwal also submitted that she needs more books and extended video conferencing time as the prison rules do permit special provisions for women.

The matter pertains to a writ petition moved by Pinjra Tod member Natasha Narwal seeking a direction to be issued to the Tihar Superintendent to allow her daily meeting with her counsel through video conferencing.

Today, The Delhi Government in its status report submitted the following:

a. The Petitioner has made calls to her family members 8 times so far

b. the allegation of violence no longer stands as the normalcy has been restored in the concerned jail

c. books have been provided to the Petitioner

d. Video Conferencing facility has been provided to the Petitioner as per the Delhi Prison Rules 2018, which is twice a week.

Mr Adit S Pujari who appeared for the Petitioner, submitted that as per Rule 627 of the Delhi Prison Rules, interviews with legal representatives have to be within sight but out of the hearing of prison officials.

It was argued that jail officials are currently privy to the conversations taking place between the Petitioner and her legal counsel. Therefore, the court must ensure compliance with Rule 627 in order to make sure that the jail officials are not able to hear the legal interviews of the Petitioner.

'The Petitioner is an accused under FIRs registered for Delhi riots. She's scared to move applications or discuss further course of action as jail officials are privy to get interviews', Mr Pujari submitted.

In addition to this, the Petitioner also sought extension of time granted for video conferencing by citing special provisions for female prisoners under Rule 1516 of the Delhi Prison Rules.

Instead of two calls of 15 minutes each, the Petitioner seeks two calls of 30 minutes each.

'The Petitioner has two FIRs against her, she should be given more time for her legall interviews', Mr Pujari argued.

The court will next take up the matter on June 30. 

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