A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in Delhi High Court on Saturday seeking immediate direction to Delhi government to provide face-masks, hand sanitizers to prisoners in all the jails in the national capital.
Delhi High Court has listed the public suit for hearing on March 24.
The PIL, filed by advocate Vikas Padora, also sought directions to spray disinfectants in the prison and quarantine all the jails in Delhi,. It also seeks a direction for setting up isolation wards in the jail premises where the infected inmate or inmate having symptoms can be lodged safely.
"It is most respectfully submitted that recently Central government declared face masks and hand sanitizers as essential commodities for next few months, but yet instead of providing face masks and sanitizers to the inmates, the inmates are made to manufacture their own face masks and sanitizers," the petition said.
It sought urgent measures to contain the spread of coronavirus and also demanded to allow entry of new prisoners in jail only after screening and conducting COVID-19 tests.
The petition said that the governments are taking necessary steps and precautions to contain the spread of the virus, but the "jails across India are so far neglected" from the purview of such precautions citing the data that "there is the capacity of 5,200 inmates", whereas at present there are "more than 12,100 inmates lodged in Tihar Jail" itself.
"Such figures clearly show that the prison Tihar Jail is excessively overcrowded and functioning beyond its capacity and similar situation are prevailing with most of the jails in India," the plea added.
The petition also highlighted the unhygienic conditions of toilets in Tihar Jail and sought to pass an order directing respondents to maintain highest standards of hygiene in prisons with routine cleaning of toilets and washrooms, and also of prison barracks and wards.
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