ANI Photo | SC directs inclusion of woman judicial officer in existing committee looking into safety, condition of women prisoners in WB

The Supreme Court on Friday directed the inclusion of a woman judicial officer in an existing committee looking into the safety and condition of women prisoners in each district in West Bengal.
A bench of justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah passed the direction in a matter.
The court also directed that the committee should also include superintendents of women jails wherever possible.
The court said that a senior lady judicial officer in the district may be included as part of the committee to give a fair assessment of the available security measures, hygiene measures, health care infrastructure, and welfare of women prisoners in jails and barracks in each district.
Amicus curiae and senior advocate Gaurav Agarwal have recently filed an affidavit in the matter related to women getting pregnant in jails in West Bengal.
Recently, the Supreme Court has taken cognizance of the allegations that women were getting pregnant in jails in West Bengal.
In the last four years in the jails in West Bengal, around 62 children were born and most of the women prisoners were already pregnant at the time they were brought to the jails, while in some cases, the women prisoners had gone out on parole and returned back expecting the child, the report filed by Amicus disclosed. He has also recommended various measures for prison reform.
Responding to the court’s query, amicus apprised the Supreme Court that he has received information from ADG & IG Correctional Services, West Bengal, on February 10, wherein it was stated that “for the last 4 years of all child births in the jails in West Bengal, which indicates that there were 62 children born in the jails in West Bengal during the last 4 years. It appears that most of the women prisoners were already expecting at the time they were brought to the jails. In some cases, the women prisoners had gone out on parole and returned back expecting.”
Amicus urged the top court to issue directions to the senior most lady judicial officer in the district who may be requested to assess the available security measures in the women jails and barracks.
Amicus also suggested examining the availability of sufficient women personnel for the purposes of security and welfare of the women prisoners, as well as the availability of regular health check-ups of the women at the time of admission and at periodic intervals. He also recommended filling up posts or strengthening the health care infrastructure for women in jail.
Amicus also apprised the top court about his discussions with jail authorities of Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi, wherein he came to know the female jails have only women officials and only at the periphery and at the gates, some men personnel are deployed. However, no men are allowed to go inside these women jails unless required, like visiting a male doctor or male officials accompanied by a women guard

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