The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the secretary, union ministry of home affairs, to convene a meeting with the Punjab government to deliberate upon the issue of deployment of paramilitary forces or any other force in the state's jails so as to curb the menace of drug trafficking in jails.
The division bench headed by chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul also issued directions to inform the court on the next date of hearing as to whether there was a central government policy for issuing funds to the states for modernisation of jails.
The directions came during resumed hearing of a public interest litigation filed by Tarlochan Singh. During the hearing of the case, the state government informed the court that it wanted to modernise the jails, for which funding would be required from the Centre.
Appearing for the Centre, senior counsel-special engagement Sukhdip Singh Sandhu informed the court that on October 23, a meeting was held between the union home ministry's joint secretary and Punjab's home secretary as well as assistant inspector general of police (jails). He further submitted that the Centre had called for a proposal from the state government regarding the feasibility of deployment of paramiliatary forces to tackle drug menace in the state.
On the last date of hearing, the high court had observed that paramilitary forces were no doubt stretched out due to various law and order issues, but narco-terrorism was something that was affecting the country, especially border states. "It is another form of terrorist activity affecting the nation at large," the court had said.
The case would now come up for hearing on December 4.