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HC asks prison to serve non-veg food

The Bombay high court on Wednesday asked prison administrations in the state to provide inmates with non-vegetarian food at least twice a week.

mumbai Updated: Jul 28, 2011 01:13 IST
HT Correspondent

The Bombay high court on Wednesday asked prison administrations in the state to provide inmates with non-vegetarian food at least twice a week.

A division bench of justice Ranjana Desai and justice RV More expressed shock when they were told that inmates in Maharashtra are provided with non-vegetarian food on only four occasions in a year – Eid-ul Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, Christmas and the day after Dussera.

“No prisoner would expect five-star treatment in a jail…but there must be some balance,” observed the judges while hearing a petition filed by six life convicts lodged at Aurangabad Central Prison.

They had complained about the food provided in prisons. “Jail authorities provide only vegetarian food in prisons, which is limited to brinjals, white and red pumpkin,” stated their petition. One of their counsels, Farhana Shah, pointed out that non-vegetarian food is provided three times a week in Tamil Nadu prisons.

The court asked public prosecutor Pandurang Pol to discuss the issue with Aurangabad prison’s authorities and inform the court if they are willing to provide non-vegetarian food to inmates once or twice a week and eggs in breakfast, as suggested by the counsels.

The convicts also alleged that no steps have been taken to restore the jail’s canteen facility despite a high court order in March 2010. Canteens in central prisons were closed abruptly in September 2008. The court has given the prison administration two weeks to reconsider its decision.