Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today observed
that the denial of canteen food to prisoners is "inhuman" and
summoned the Inspector General of Prisons on February 26.
A division bench of Justices Ranjana Desai and Mridula
Bhatkar said "it is absolutely inhuman to deny them food like
boiled eggs or samosas."
The court will on the next hearing scrutinise the reason
behind the ban on canteen food, which was decided in a
circular issued by the Inspector General of Prisons on
September 5, 2008.
"Why would the IG issue such a notice? The prisoners can
at least be allowed to buy and eat something with their own
money," Justice Desai asked.
Public prosecutor P A Pol told the court that it is the
IG`s discretion to make the decision to which Justice Desai
said, "there should be some genuine ground as to why the
facility has been denied."
The court was hearing a petition filed by some of the
convicts in the 1993 serial blasts case, seeking for eatables
from the jail canteen be made available to them.
Petitioners` lawyer Aisha Ansari had argued that this
facility was available since 1949. She contended that food
items such as chicken, eggs and mutton, etc were sold in the
canteens, and prisoners could buy them with their own money.