Ensure good food, clean toilets for jail inmates: High Court

Taking serious note of the deplorable conditions in prisons in the state, the Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the superintendents of all jails across Maharashtra to ensure basic facilities for prison inmates.

"We direct the Superintendents of all jails across the state to ensure that basic amenities like good food, clean and hygienic toilets and bathrooms are provided to the inmates. A compliance report shall be filed within four weeks,"a division bench of Justices V M Kanade and Revati Mohite-Dere ordered.

The court was hearing a petition filed by one Shaikh Ibrahim Abdul, who is presently lodged in Yerwada Central prison (in Pune), raising the issue of poor condition of the jail.

Following the petition, the high court had directed the Pune judicial officer to visit the Yerwada jail and submit a report. After perusing the report and finding that the jail condition is indeed bad, the court sought a similar report from the judicial officer in Mumbai regarding Arthur Road prison and Byculla Womens' prison.

As per the report, in Arthur Road prison the capacity is to house 804 inmates but the present population in the jail is 2,466 inmates. The report further states that there are no bathrooms for inmates and they have to take bath in the open.

The toilets which are in use are unclean and need renovation. The court directed the state government to immediately start work of construction of bathrooms and toilets inside the Arthur Road prison and complete the work within six months.

The court also directed the government to construct toilets and bathrooms in Byculla womens' prison immediately.

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