Mumbai: Maharashtra Government has informed the Bombay High Court that it had started on an experimental basis telephone facility in some jails for the prisoners so that they can talk to relatives in emergency or if they fell sick.

This facility has been made available in Thane Central jail and Taloja prison in Thane and Navi Mumbai respectively, government pleader Aruna Pai recently told a bench.

“If this facility is found successful, it would be extended to all the jails in the state,” she said.

Taking her statement on record, a bench headed by Justice Naresh Patil adjourned the matter till August 25.

The court was hearing two letters written separately by prisoners Aftan Sayed Ahmed Shaikh lodged in Thane jail and Javed Ahmed Abdul Majeed, housed in Nashik prison, seeking telephone facility in jails.

Both the letters were converted into PILs and heard by the court.

The prisoners contended that the telephone facility for prisoners prevailed in Karnataka, West Bengal and Delhi jails and demanded that it should be extended to Maharashtra too.

They contended that as per the prison manual, the prisoners were allowed to meet their relatives once a week, but in many cases the relatives live far away from the jails and hence could not make it to the prisons.

If the telephone facility was introduced, the prisoners could talk to their relatives in case they fell sick or when they wished to contact their kith and kin during emergency situations, the petitions said.

The court raised a query whether such facility was prevailing in Nagpur jails, to which the government pleader replied in the negative.

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