“Educate prisoners instead of providing condoms in state prisons.”
This is what the Bombay High Court suggested the state government while hearing a suo moto petition on Monday.
The petition has raised questions over medical treatment to HIV-infected inmates languishing in state prisons.
“Every person should observe some restraint in general life, some discipline is a must,” said a division bench of Justice P.B. Majmudar and Justice Rajesh Ketkar.
The observation came after senior lawyer Anand Grover, appointed amicus curie (friend of the court), suggested that condom-vending machines be installed in state prisons considering the fact that gay sex was rampant in jails.
“We are aware that sex is a biological need of a prisoner,” said Justice Majmudar adding.
“But instead of providing condom vending machines in prisons, the inmates should be discouraged from doing wrong things so that they do not acquire deadly diseases like AIDS.”
The court had initiated suo motu proceedings after a HIV-infected murder convict died in jail, allegedly for want of proper medical care.
After a rap from the high court, the state filled up vacant posts of 38 medical officers in 21 out of 41 state prisons.
On Monday, Yug Mohit Chaudhary, another amicus curie, said 20 prisons are without a medical officer even after appointment of 38 medical officers.
The court recommended that the state should ensure the appointment of at least one medical officer in every state prison.