Natasha Narwal
Natasha Narwal
Litigation News

Jail officials cannot be within hearing range at the time of interview with lawyer: Pinjra Tod member Natasha Narwal tells Delhi HC

The Court was hearing Narwal's petition seeking a direction to the Tihar Jail authorities to allow her access to her counsel by way of video conferencing.

Aditi Singh

The counsel for Pinjra Tod member Natasha Narwal today informed the Delhi High Court that while the jail authorities had allowed him to have a legal interview with her, the same was in violation of the Delhi Prison Rules.

Narwal is in judicial custody in Tihar Jail in connection with Delhi riots cases.

The Court was hearing Narwal's petition seeking a direction to the Tihar Jail authorities to allow her access to her counsel by way of video conferencing.

Advocate Adit Pujari informed a Single Judge Bench of Justice C Hari Shankar that as per Rule 627 of the Delhi Prison Rules, prison officials were permitted to be within sight but they could not be within the hearing range at the time of a legal interview.

It was stated that when a legal interview with Narwal was conducted last week, one prison official was within the hearing range.

Pujari explained that due to the presence of the jail official, he was unable to get proper instruction from Narwal.

Given that Narwal was implicated in two FIRs pertaining to the Delhi riots, counsel for Narwal also prayed for directions to allow him to speak with Narwal twice a week for 30 minutes each.

Directions were also sought to allow Narwal access to all kind of books and not just academic books in terms of the Jail Rules.

When the Court sought response from Standing Counsel (Criminal) Rahul Mehra, Advocate Chaitanya Gosain sought a passover in the matter on account of Mehra being busy in another court.

The matter was ultimately adjourned till tomorrow.

The Court today also took on record a status report filed by Jail Authorities.

As per the status report, the issue of daily calls by inmates to their families stood resolved and that Narwal had spoken to her family 8 times so far.

As far as the incidence of June 16 violence was concerned, the Court was informed that certain foreign inmates "created problem" in Jail No. 6 on account of being left out of the ambit of interim bail and minimum force was used to physically control them.

The Jail authorities explained that, to curb the movement of inmates and their gathering, the telephonic facility was temporarily suspended from June 16 to June 23, however, the same was allowed whenever found urgent.

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