This Tuesday, Rajasthan High Court’s chief justice Naveen Kumar Sinha has directed Rajasthan government to make video conferencing arrangements in all district as well as the Central prison in the state by February 2017. This order was passed in response to a PIL moved by a local NGO named Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative that pointed out the shortcomings in existing judiciary and legislative structures. According to the NGO, the everyday activities of trial inmates and offenders who were imprisoned during pre-trial stage could not be produced in various courts for two major reasons–
- Lack of vehicles and resources,
- Non-adequate escorts.
Therefore the NGO requested Jodhpur bench to make necessary arrangements so that cops can produce inmates in the courtroom on the stipulated dates of hearing. This move may prevent delays in court trials.
After mulling on the PIL for some time, Justice Sinha ordered the committee in charge (consisting of district superintendents of police, district magistrates and judge) to monitor the health status and activities of jail inmates on a monthly basis.
The court also ordered jail authorities to make proper arrangements for medical check up. On the request of petitioner Nishant Bora, the court sought reports from Rajasthan government. The details of previous hearings were directed to DGs and DGPS and they were directed to appear in the court with a valid explanation to this issue in hand.
Resultantly, AAG P.R. Singh Jodha appeared before the court and handed over a copy of arrangements prevalent in jails. They listed out medical facilities, ambulances and para-medical staff that provides treatment to jail inmates. They intimated the court that 22 jails (including district and Central) have already installed the video conferencing facility for quick communication. They’ll try to cover rest of the prisons before 28 February 2017 (the date set by the court.
Thus, with the intervention of NGO and court, a new measure would be implemented in Rajasthan jails next year. Hopefully, this will help resolve delays in the court trial.