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Supreme Court seeks report on pregnancies in Bengal jails

Asks amicus curiae to examine matter

Supreme Court seeks report on pregnancies in Bengal jails

Supreme Court. File photo



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 10

Taking cognisance of close to 200 women prisoners in West Bengal jails and correctional homes getting pregnant, the Supreme Court has sought a report on the issue.

The order came from a Bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah which asked amicus curiae senior advocate Gaurav Agrawal to examine the matter and file a status report on it.

A Bench comprising Justice Amanullah has been dealing with a PIL on overcrowding in Indian prisons. Last month, the top court had ordered states/UTs to set up district-level committees to evaluate the existing infrastructure in prisons and determine the need for additional facilities, in accordance with the Model Prison Manual, 2016.

Shocked to know that women inmates were getting pregnant in prisons in West Bengal, the Calcutta High Court had on Thursday decided to send the matter to a Division Bench hearing criminal matters. “In order to have an effective adjudication of all these matters, we deem it appropriate that the matter should be placed before the honourable Division Bench having a criminal roster determination,” a Division Bench of Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Supratim Bhattacharya had said after it was informed that 196 babies were born in different jails in West Bengal.

“It is interesting to note that women prisoners, while in custody, are getting pregnant. Subsequently babies are born in prisons. At present, 196 babies are staying in different prisons of West Bengal,” the amicus curiae of all prison homes in West Bengal had submitted.

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