Tihar authorities have agreed to allow Pinjra Tod member Natasha Narwal to have video conferencing meetings with her lawyer, telephonic calls with her family, and access to books of her choice.
The said information was provided by the Superintendent of Tihar in a status report submitted before the Single Bench of Justice C Hari Shankar on Tuesday.
In the last hearing, Mr Adit S Pujari who appeared for the Petitioner, had 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 had 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 legal interviews', Mr Pujari argued.
Today, Mr Rahul Mehra, who was appearing for Tihar, submitted that all the grievances of the Petitioner have been addressed and the following has been decided:
a. The Petitioner will be provided with headphones during the video conferencing in order to ensure compliance with Rule 627 of the Delhi Prison Rules
b. Screen sharing facility will also be provided through Webex app
c. All the books desired by the Petitioner will be provided to her subject to the Delhi Prison Rules
d. Petitioner will be provided with telephonic calls facility
e. As far as practicable, 30 minutes of video conferencing will be provided to the Petitioner
'The jail officials will be within the sight bit they won't be at the audible distance', Mr Mehra submitted.
At this point, the Petitioner expressed satisfaction with the affirmations given by the Tihar authorities.
The present matter pertained 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.