Maharashtra Jail inmates can now contact their family and lawyers via a video calling facility. The decision has come after the lawyers approached the Bombay High Court, seeking a way to contact their clients in jail.
During the last 111 days of being in lockdown, the ‘Wakeel-Qaidi Mulaqat’ (lawyer-inmate meet) was stopped in all the jails to avoid the spread of the virus. After hearing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), the court has ordered the state Prison Departments to facilitate a lawyer/relative–inmate interface through the video calling facility.
Following this, at least 39 out of 60 jails in the state have purchased smartphones. The Yerawada jail administration has bought two, while Kolhapur jail has bought five smartphones, Nashik has four, Mumbai with two, while Thane and Taloja have three smartphones, according to the number of inmates. Reportedly, there are more than 26,000 prisoners in these 60 jails.
“The facility has already been started and assists for lawyer-inmate interaction, which is strictly monitored as per the jail norms,” The Hindustan Times quoted Yerawada jail superintendent UT Pawar.
To avail the facility, family members or lawyers are required to visit www.mahaprisons.gov.in, send a mail from the dedicated email ID that has been generated for each prisoner, and register themselves to the concerned jail department seeking appointment for the video call interaction.
The mail should include the name, barrack number and case details. Post verification, the authorities will inform them about the date and timings of the call. According to the media, the current interaction time is limited to 10 minutes.
Once all the formalities are complete, inmates can interact in the presence of the authorities. At present, 6,000 inmates are housed at the Yerawada, while the jail has a capacity to house only 2,449 inmates.
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