MP HC seeks status report on steps to ensure distinct jails for male and female inmates

In a key development, the Madhya Pradesh High Court on September 29 solicited the Director-General of Prison and Correctional Services of the state to submit a status report on measures taken to ensure male and female inmates as well as undertrials and convicted inmates, are lodged in separate jails.

The court was hearing a bail plea in relation to an offence booked under unlawful manufacture, transport, possession, sale, etc under Section 34(2) of the MP Excise Act.

‘Male and Female jail inmates kept in same campus in jail custody’: counsel

Justice Rajeev Kumar Shrivastava called for a status report on arrangements to keep male and female inmates, as well as undertrials and convicted inmates in distinct prisons.

The nature of the allegation indicates 600 bulk litres of usurped liquor that were recovered from the petitioners namely, Roma Kanjar and Hemlata Kanjar. However, both have denied the allegations. The counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioners has submitted that both Roma and Hemlata were lodged in Datia jail since July 27, 2021. 

And given she’s a woman, they claimed that jail conditions have been harsh on her. It was brought to the attention of the court that females, as well as male offenders and undertrials, are kept on the same jail premises in custody. 

Further, it was contended before the Madhya Pradesh HC that the investigation in the case at hand could be prolonged as the applicants are females who are under custody since July 27. Based on this rationale, the applicants have sought bail. Subsequently, the MP HC allowed the bail application and ordered they would be released if each applicant furnished a personal bond of Rs 1,00,000. 

Keeping these under consideration, the Madhya Pradesh HC asked the Director-General of Prison and Correctional Services to submit the status report before the Principal Registrar of the Court, who shall advance the report to the administrative side within a stipulated time period of one month.

For compliance purposes, the High Court directed a copy of the status report be submitted to the trial court and the counsel appearing on behalf of the State. 

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