Covid-19: Lawyers request govt for better healthcare in jails, no fresh arrests

Published on Mar 31, 2020 06:45 PM IST
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By, Mumbai

In the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak, 130 lawyers from the city have approached the government suggesting guidelines to improve health care for prisoners and also sought restraint in making arrests unless it was imperative.

The lawyers wrote to chief minister, chief justice of Bombay high court, the state home minister and other authorities, suggesting various measures for the safety of the jail inmates.

The letter suggests that the government should arrange for regular health check-ups for the prisoners. “Adequate measures should be in place to protect persons in isolation from any form of ill-treatment and to facilitate human contact as appropriate and possible in the given circumstances,” reads the letter, adding that health care mechanisms in jails should be improved.

The lawyers also proposed that inmates must be allowed to communicate with their family and pleaded that entry of jail staff should be restrained for their protection as well.

The advocates have also asked the government to direct law enforcement agencies to not make arrests unless it was necessary “The principle of, “bail is a rule” should be followed and no person should be arrested/detained or sent for judicial custody, unless such arrest/custody is inevitable,” read the letter, adding, “Enhanced consideration should be given to resorting to non-custodial measures at all stages of the administration of criminal justice, including at the pre-trial, trial and sentencing as well as post-sentencing stages.”

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