the Government of Uttar Pradesh told the Allahabad High Court that its High Power Committee decided to monitor the inmate’s communication with the outside world from the point of view of safety and security.
The UP government further informed that the guidelines formed by the CHP further provide that from the point of view of safety and security such communication must be recorded and genuine communication is widely permitted.
The bench of Judge Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Judge Hon’ble Ajai Kumar Srivastava-I heard the plea filed by 2 prisoners, charged under the UAPA and certain IPC offenses, with the prayer that the respondents may be asked to provide suitable facilities for the petitioners to interact / interview with their family members by videoconference or cellular communication, that is to say telephone communication.
It was also requested that respondents also be asked to arrange a suitable facility for petitioners’ interaction / interview with their legal advisers / lawyers.
Observations made by government counsel
The government’s additional lawyer argued that the government was taking appropriate and adequate precautions to control the spread of the pandemic, and that prisoners’ communication with the outside world was, however, permitted, however, it was monitored to maintain safety and security and for this purpose certain guidelines are available.
Further, referring to the CHP, it has been argued that the guidelines provide that any interaction of detainees with the outside world will be permitted by videoconference in emergency situations only for judicial purposes.
Regarding interaction with family members and any other person, it was indicated that the guidelines provide that such interaction should be allowed by telephone, also in an emergency.
He also referred to certain decisions taken by the Committee of the High Powers, which provide, in particular, that the inmate’s communication with the outside world must be monitored from the point of view of safety and security. The guidelines further provide that, from a safety and security perspective, such communication should be recorded and genuine communication should be widely permitted.
The Court authorized the applicants’ legal advisers / attorneys to make an appropriate request in accordance with the requirements of paragraphs 697 to 708 of the UP Jail Handbook.
Once such a request is made, the court ordered, the prison superintendent must make a decision and record his satisfaction as required by the provisions contained in paragraph 457-D of the UP prison manual.
“The decision that may be made by the prison superintendent under paragraph 457-D of the UP Prison Manual should be immediately communicated to the legal advisers / lawyers of the applicants and if he records his satisfaction that the interaction / interview sought by the advisers / lawyers is genuine, it must allow the same as soon as possible, ordered the Court.
Finally, concerning the telephone installation, the Court noted that the telephone numbers provided by the Applicant for the purpose of interacting with family members were being verified and that in the absence of verification of the telephone numbers , communication was not possible at the moment.
However, he added that as soon as the number is verified, the facility will be made available to them.
Case title – Anshad Badarudheen & Anr. v. UP Thru State. Prin. Secy. House & Ors
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