Bhopal: The counsel for five alleged SIMI men can meet his clients in the Bhopal Central Jail where they are lodged, a local court said on Friday, dismissing a revision petition filed by the Madhya Pradesh government.
The district and sessions court, while permitting Parvez Alam to meet for 20 minutes the suspected members of the banned Islamic students’ organisation, clarified that the lawyer should stick to the rules of the state jail manual.
Welcoming the court’s decision, Alam said he will visit the five clients in the jail on Saturday. The order came after the state filed a revision petition before additional district and sessions judge Ram Kumar Chaube on Thursday.
A day before it, the chief judicial magistrate (CJM) court gave Alam permission to meet Adil, Irfan, Javed, Zuber and Mohammed Sadiq at Bhopal Central Jail from where eight other SIMI men escaped on October 31 and were shot dead hours later on the city outskirts.
CJM Bhubhaskar Yadav also pulled up the government for its nine-day delay in informing the court about the alleged jailbreak. Alam was the counsel for the seven slain SIMI “operatives”.
The CJM asked the government why the court should believe the government’s account of the “jailbreak” based solely on a prison employee’s statement.
The government submitted before the court that permitting the SIMI men’s lawyer to meet them in the prison was not in line with the norms of the jail manual.
The petitioner’s counsel pleaded that such a meeting was not warranted, as the jailed SIMI men were involved in serious offences and members of a proscribed outfit.
Alam had filed an application before the CJM court for permission to meet his five clients lodged at Bhopal jail. The killing of the eight alleged SIMI men had instilled fear among his fellow clients lodged at the same prison where guards “beat them up” after the October 31 jailbreak, the counsel said. The five were on a “hunger strike” since, he added, seeking the court’s permission to meet them.
The government’s lawyer, Anand Tiwari, said though the petition was rejected, the sessions court had made “important changes” in the earlier order.
He said the court’s clause that the lawyer had to go by rules 694 and 695 of the state jail manual meant Alam had to submit an application to the jail superintendent for his permission, stating his name and profession and why he wanted to meet the prisoners.
The lawyer will have to furnish proof that he is a counsel for the prisoners, Tiwari added.