Thursday, April 25, 2024

SC dismisses plea against Delhi prison rules capping number of visits to inmates


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Terming the issue raised as a policy matter, a bench of Justices Bela M. Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal said that it was not inclined to interfere with the order of the Delhi High Court passed in February last year.

In its order, the High Court had said that capping the total number of visits to two times a week cannot be said to be completely arbitrary.

“In matters of policy, the Courts do not substitute its own conclusion with the one arrived at by the Government merely because another view is possible. Therefore, this Court is not inclined to pass any order issuing writ of mandamus,” had said a bench of then Chief Justice S.C. Sharma and Subramonium Prasad.

However, the High Court had asked the PIL petitioners — Jai A. Dehadrai and Sidharth Arora — to give a representation to the government of NCT of Delhi providing their suggestions.

The PIL had prayed for amendment of prison Rules to include interview with legal advisers be open from Monday to Friday for an appropriate allotted time with no cap on interviews per week.

The petitioners had contended that limiting the number of visits twice a week is violative of Article 21 of the Constitution of India inasmuch as it limits the right of an undertrial to have adequate resources to legal representation.

Before the high court, the state had argued that looking at the number of inmates in the Delhi Prisons, it was decided to put a cap on the number of visits permitted by the family members, relatives, friends and legal counsel.



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