Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday asked Maharashtra government to inform it by October 24 what security measures the state proposed to take in Mumbai Central jail and Taloja prison in Navi Mumhai.
The Court also asked the Principal Secretaries of Home, Urban Development and Law and Judiciary departments to devise plans for allowing real estate development around the jails in such a manner that the safety of jail inmates was not compromised.
The court was hearing a petition filed by prison inmate Major Ramesh Upadhyay, an accused in the September 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts case.
Upadhyay had written a letter to the court raising concerns about existing and under-construction high-rises that pose a security threat to jail inmates.
The letter was converted into a writ petition and advocate Shubdha Khot was appointed amicus curaie (friend of the court) to assist in the matter.
During the course of hearing today, the court was told that the Secretary of Law and Judiciary had gone abroad, prompting the bench headed by Justice SC Dharmadhikari to remark that he (Secretary) should visit jails in foreign countries to find out what security measures were adopted for jail inmates.
During the last hearing, the court had asked the Secretaries of the three departments to coordinate among themselves and work out modalities with regard to safety in prison in larger public interest. The court had also asked them to take the help of the Advocate General if required.
However, today, the bench said meetings with the Advocate General only would not help the government. There should be some kind of permanent advisory committee to guide the authorities in matters of prison security and development around prisons.