Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked principal secretaries of Home, Urban Development and Law and Judiciary departments of Maharashtra to coordinate in taking security measures in Arthur Road Prison in Mumbai and Taloja Jail in Navi Mumbai.
The principal secretaries of the three departments should sit together to work out modalities in this regard in the larger public interest and if necessary these officers can take help of Advocate General, a bench headed by Justice SC Dharmadhikari observed.
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 appointed amicus curaie (friend of the court) to assist in the matter.
The government had earlier appointed a committee which recommended certain measures to ensure security in and around prisons in the wake of high-rises coming up in localities near jails.
Observing that no concrete step had been taken till date on this issue, the bench directed the authorities concerned to seriously consider this subject. The matter has been adjourned to September 28.
Earlier, Principal Secretary, Medha Gadgil (Appeals and Security) had stated rules were in place under the development control regulations spelling out conditions for construction of high-rises around prisons in the state.
Upadhyay, in a hand-written letter, had cited newspaper clippings of photos taken from a nearby building about the activities inside the jail.
The letter states that no prison guard is armed except with a cane and if a photographer can click photos of what is happening inside the jail then any person, for instance, a contract killer, can go up to the roof or a flat overlooking the prison and shoot anyone with weapons like a rifle with a telescope.