What Delhi prison manual says about meeting inmates

New Delhi, Apr 13 (IANS): The meetings between inmates and their relatives or friends are conducted according to the jail's manual and this applies to all inmates without exception, top prison sources told IANS on Saturday, in response to claims made by AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh.

Singh, on Saturday, while addressing a press conference, said that incarcerated Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's wife, Sunita Kejriwal, had applied to meet him in jail, but she was told that she cannot meet him face-to-face but only through a window.

“A glass window is present during these meetings, known as 'Jangla meeting', enabling communication through phones installed on both sides of the window between the inmate and the person they are meeting. There is no special treatment for anyone,” said sources.

Sources further said that the meeting can also be through a video call.

“All meeting procedures are conducted online. It is at the discretion of the individual applying for the meeting on the website to choose whether they prefer to meet the inmate through Jangla meeting or video conferencing. It's up to the jail Superintendent to allow the inmate and visitor to meet face-to-face,” said the official.

As per the jail manual, every interview shall take place in a special part of the prison appointed for this purpose.

“If possible such a place should be at or near the main gate to ensure the safety and security of prisoners. The interview room will have a fiber glass partition with intercom facilities or equipped with any other latest technology, so that the prisoners can have a peaceful interview,” reads the Delhi prison manual.

“The interview room shall be divided into cubicles and should have sound-proofing materials covering its walls and ceiling. However, the Superintendent of Prisons may allow well-behaved prisoners to have face-to-face interviews after giving due consideration to security and other related aspects,” it stated.

The jail manual also stated that on admission, every prisoner should submit a list of persons who are likely to interview him and the interview shall be restricted to family members, relatives and friends.

“The conversation at the interviews shall be limited to private and domestic matters and there shall be no reference to prison administration and discipline and to other prisoners or politics. The number of persons who may interview a prisoner at one time shall ordinarily be limited to three. The Superintendent may restrict any visitor to conduct interview with any prisoner with justified reasons,” it read.

The manual further stated that every interview with a terrorist or militant, whether serving a sentence or kept as an under-trial prisoner or a prisoner detained under Preventive Detention Laws, shall take place in the presence of an officer not below the rank of Assistant Superintendent.

Kejriwal, who was arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Delhi excise scam, is lodged in Tihar Jail No 2, which is under constant heavy guard by security personnel, with Quick Response Teams (QRT) ready to intervene if necessary.

In Jail No 2, there are around 650 inmates, of which nearly 600 have been convicted and they are constantly under CCTV watch.

Kejriwal has provided a list of six individuals, including the Chief Minister of Punjab Bhagwant Mann, whom he intends to meet in prison, and his family members.

A Delhi court had sent Kejriwal to judicial custody till April 15. The ED has termed CM Kejriwal the "kingpin and the key conspirator" of the alleged excise scam in collusion with other ministers of the Delhi government, AAP leaders, and other persons.



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