Jails may make pregnancy tests compulsory for women inmates | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Jails may make pregnancy tests compulsory for women inmates

A 24-year-old accused unexpectedly delivering a stillborn baby at Byculla jail on Wednesday has been something of a wake–up call for jail authorities, who are now planning to make pregnancy tests compulsory for all women inmates as soon as they are sent to prison, Wednesday’s victim, who had fainted after giving birth in the jail’s toilet, had told the police in her statement that she had not informed authorities that that she was pregnant.

mumbai Updated: Dec 15, 2012 01:33 IST
Mohamed Thaver

A 24-year-old accused unexpectedly delivering a stillborn baby at Byculla jail on Wednesday has been something of a wake–up call for jail authorities, who are now planning to make pregnancy tests compulsory for all women inmates as soon as they are sent to prison, Wednesday’s victim, who had fainted after giving birth in the jail’s toilet, had told the police in her statement that she had not informed authorities that that she was pregnant.

A source from the jail administration said, “While several medical tests are conducted when a woman under trial comes to the Byculla jail, a pregnancy test is not one of them. It is done if the woman says she is pregnant.” The official added, “In order to avoid such an incident again, there have been talks to now include pregnancy tests in the list of mandatory tests.”

Additional director general of police (prisons) Meeran Borwankar confirmed this is a possibility. “We may make pregnancy tests mandatory if it is revealed that the girl had managed to hide the fact that she was pregnant from prison authorities,” Borwankar said. The woman was still recuperating the JJ hospital on Friday evening.

The incident had taken place on Wednesday night at around 10.30pm when the inmate, who had been arrested by the MIDC police on charges of cheating and forgery, had gone to the bathroom. She delivered a stillborn baby boy there and fainted. She was then rushed to the JJ hospital by the prison authorities.

The jail authorities have asked deputy inspector general (DIG) Swati Sathe to investigate how the prison authorities did not know that she was pregnant.