“It is inhuman to deprive prisoners of small things like boiled eggs or samosas,” the Bombay High Court observed on Thursday.
The high court asked Inspector General of Prisons Uddhav Kamble to remain present in court on February 26 and explain why a circular banning the sale of food items in jail canteens was issued.
A division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice Mridula Bhatkar was hearing the petition filed by Sardar Shahvali Khan challenging the circular.
Khan is serving a life sentence at the Aurangabad central prison for his role in the 1993 blasts. “You are making it difficult for prisoners to live there. Don’t be so harsh,” said Justice Desai.
Inmates could buy food items from the canteen from the money they earned inside the jail.
Khan’s advocate A.M.Z. Ansari argued that the circular does not give any reasons for imposing the ban. “They don’t even give vegetables or boiled eggs any more,” he said.
Public Prosecutor Pandurang Pol said: “Biscuits and some readymade food packets are made available.” Pol told the court that the circular was issued as “some prisoners” were misusing the canteen facility.
Justice Desai said: “Just because some dada [goon] may be ruling [inside the jail], along with your staff, you can’t punish all prisoners. Your staff is either inefficient or has a hidden agenda. Otherwise such misuse can be stopped.”