MUMBAI: Bombay high court on Tuesday directed the state to file a comprehensive response setting out facilities in and status of jail hygiene and number of Covid-19 infected inmates in prisons across Maharashtra.
“The report ought to indicate the names and particulars of under trial prisoners/convicts who have been tested and found to be Covid-19 +ve,” said the HC in its order.
Meanwhile, one more constable in the Arthur Road jail was found Covid-19 positive on Monday night, taking the total number of infected Covid jail officials at 27.
The constable has been sent for treatment. Besides this, out of 26 Arthur Road jail police personnel who had been tested positive two weeks ago, 10 have been cured and discharged. They have been sent home after their report came negative. Two weeks ago, 154 prisoners and 26 jail staff had been found positive for coronavirus. While the jail officials were moved to other places, the inmates have been kept in isolation cells. The doctors are now trying for contact tracing of the constable who was found positive last night.
After several inmates and jail staff tested positive for Covid-19 a human rights NGO People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) moved HC last week seeking various reliefs to the prisoners across jails in Maharashtra including directions to the state government to provide information about health and Covid-19 status of all inmates to the family members and their lawyers and to ensure the inmates have free access to protective gears including N95 masks, hand sanitizers, soap and other cleaning supplies and regular access to doctors.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice S S Shinde heard the NGO’s counsel Mihir Desai through video-conferencing and sought the state’s reply by next Monday while adjourning the matter along with two connected PILs filed by Geeta Jain and Archana Rupwate seeking similar reliefs for prison inmates, to Next Tuesday. The Court also heard together PILs filed by Geeta Bharat Jain and Archana Rupwate seeking reliefs for prisoners.
Source : TOI