The Karnataka High Court on Thursday sought the response of the State Government on a plea concerning facilities available in prisons in the State. .A Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka directed the State government to respond on a wide range of issues including tackling of overcrowding in prisons, maintaining hygiene and providing adequate food and medical facilities. The State has to respond on the following issues: .Hygiene of Prisoners: Six prisoners should have one toilet. The data from Central Prison, Bengaluru has shown that one toilet is available for 9.41 prisoners. The standard prescribed by the model prison manual is one common bathroom for 10 prisoners. In many jails in the State, one bathroom has been provided for more than 15 prisoners.Another aspect of hygiene is cleanliness to be maintained, not only in bathroom but in general premises of Central prisons.Overcrowding: The State government must point out whether there are any standard norms regarding the size of the cells for various categories of prisons.If there is perpetual issue of over crowding in the Central prison of Bengaluru, State to place on record whether there are any proposals pending for constructing additional premises for the Central Jail.Food provided to the inmates of the prisons: Whether nutritious food is being provided and whether there is any quality control on the food prepared; State should explain whether opinion of experts has been taken for finalising the categories of food items provided to the prisoners and quantity also.State should ascertain whether proper infrastructure is made available in the kitchens in jails and whether there is adequate staff for manning the kitchens.Proper facilities provided for prisoners to meet their relatives and friends: This issue is dealt with by the Supreme Court in a number of cases including Sunil Batra vs Delhi Administration. State should respond on this issue. Health of prisoners: State should apprise the Court on whether there are sufficient beds available in hospitals attached to prisons. whether adequate number of medical staff and para medical staff is available. Vacant posts in Medical Staff: State government should take immediate steps for filling in vacant posts in medical staff. State should file affidavit recording outer limit for filling in posts.State should consider whether some of the staff members attached to the hospital can be transferred to prisons in the State.Ancillary issues such as clothing provided to jail inmates, facilities provided to children who stay with their respective mothers who are inmates of jail, wages paid to prisoners for doing work entrusted to them should also be looked into by the StateState should also comment on the issue of undertrials prisoners..From conduct of tests to hospitalization of patients: Karnataka HC questions state govt on protocol for COVID-19 medical facilities.The Court was hearing a batch of pleas seeking to decongest prisons and to provide proper medical facilities to prisoners in the State. .The matter will be next heard on June 4.