Delhi jail authorities on video call facility: The Delhi jail authorities today (November 18) informed the Delhi High Court that due to security reasons, the video conferencing call facility cannot be provided to jail inmates whose relatives are abroad. Jail authorities also filed a status report on the plea moved by Natasha Narwal and others.
The petitioners have sought video conferencing (VC) call facility to jail inmates to talk to their relatives abroad. Justice Yashwant Varma adjourned the matter for February 9, 2023, as the standing counsel for Delhi Prison Gautam Narayan was busy in the supreme court. During the hearing, the counsel for petitioners submitted that the matter was filed when Natasha Narwal was lodged in Jail Number 6 of Tihar.
She also submitted that still the VC call facility has not been provided to inmates till date. On the other hand, the proxy counsel for Narayan submitted that there is some security issue in providing the VC facility to jail inmates. We have filed the status report. It is submitted that video-calling facility/e-mulakats are not provided for families of inmates residing abroad due to security reasons. However, telephonic voice calls are permissible once a week to the inmate whose family members are residing abroad, on request, the status report stated. The counsel appearing for the State also submitted that all the VC calls are monitored and recorded, Justice Varma said "We don't want to go there....because then there is the issue of privacy also."
She also submitted that we have allowed daily telephonic conversations and weekly physical meetings for jail inmates. The petitioner's counsel submitted that the telephonic facility is at an exorbitant rate starting from Rs 400. Justice Varma at this point asked the proxy counsel that "what is the security issue in providing VC facility to jail inmate when he is in the jail room and the credentials of the relatives abroad are verified."
"This can be done in the case of ordinary inmates, if not in the case of high-risk inmates."
"We want to hear this matter, justice Varma said. Natasha Narwal had been granted bail by the Delhi High court in a larger conspiracy case related to the North East Delhi riots of February 2020. While she was in jail, she had moved an application for a VC facility for jail inmates whose relatives are abroad. The High court had called a status report on the plea moved by Narwal.
(With ANI inputs)