New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday took cognisance of the issue of some women prisoners getting pregnant inside the jails in West Bengal.
Apex court asked amicus curiae to look into the issue and submit a report
A bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kumar and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah agreed to examine the matter and asked senior advocate Gaurav Agrawal, who was earlier appointed amicus curiae by the top court to assist it in a matter related to overcrowding in jails, to look into the issue and submit a report.
What did the amicus curiae tell the Calcutta High Court on Thursday?
Lawyer Tapas Kumar Bhanja, who was appointed amicus curiae by the Calcutta High Court in a 2018 suo motu case on overcrowding in prisons in the state of West Bengal, told a High Court bench, headed by Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam, that some women prisoners lodged in various jails in the state of West Bengal were getting pregnant and 196 babies were said to have born in these jails.
Amicus curiae has pointed to certain serious issues: High Court
Bhanja also submitted a note containing various issues, including women prisoners getting pregnant inside the jails and suggestions how to address the problem, before the High Court bench, which took note of Bhanja’s submissions, saying that he has pointed to certain serious issues, and ordered the matter to be transferred to a criminal division bench.
“In order to have an effective adjudication of all these matters, we deem it appropriate that the matter should be placed before the Hon’ble Division Bench having criminal roster determination,” the High Court directed.
Amicus curiae suggested total prohibition on entry of male employees into enclosures of women prisoners
Bhanja suggested total prohibition on entry of male employees of jails into the enclosures of women prisoners to address the problem of women prisoners getting pregnant inside the jails.
A division bench of the High Court in 2018, headed by the then Chief Justice of the High Court, had initiated a suo motu case on the issue of overcrowding in correctional homes in the state of West Bengal and all the matters filed earlier on the issue were tagged with this suo motu motion and were being heard together in the High Court.