-Report by Utkarsh Kamal
In this case, we are going to discuss the rights of the prisoners, and also as the fundamental right ( right to privacy) of a prisoner and the right to live with dignity, in this case, the prisoner is an accused and he asked to be nude in front of the prison official while there are electronic gadgets available to check him whether he has anything under his clothes or not but still the prison officials asked him to be nude so they can check him. when the accused took this to the Court where the court held that it was a clear violation of his rights.
An application had been submitted to the judge by Ahmed Kamal Shaikh, one of the defendants in the 1993 Bombay bombings case. The 1993 Bombay bombings trial is currently in its third round. The accused had stated that every time he is brought before the court and hauled back to jail, he is strip-searched at the jail’s entrance, which is humiliating and against his rights, in the motion submitted through counsel Farhana Shah. Shaikh asserted that he had objected to it, but the jail staff began abusing, humiliating, and threatening him with unparliamentary words. He approached the court in distress.
Whether misbehaving with an accused person in jail is a violation of his rights or not.
Article 21: Protection of life and personal liberty, no person shall be deprived of his liberty except according to the procedures established by law.
This article also includes the right to privacy as well as the right to live life with dignity.
The applicant/accused Ahmed Kamal Shaikh is upset because after appearing before the court, he is returned to jail. He is made naked in front of other prisoners and staff members while being searched by the searching guard at the entry, which is humiliating and a violation of his right to privacy. When he objected to the same, the concerned searchers misbehaved with him, used unparliamentary words towards him, and humiliated him in front of other people. Threats were made to him as well as detainees. Therefore, he asks for instructions from the Superintendent or Jail Authorities not to misbehave, embarrass him, or speak to him in an offensive manner. He also asks for guidance on how to conduct his own search using a scanner or other technical devices.
Respondent contention: The superintendent of Mumbai Central Prison informed the court that the accused had not received any such degrading treatment. The superintendent contended that the current “false” application was only submitted to put pressure on the jail administration. Hence the court should reject the application.
Judgment: The claims made by the accused had some merit, according to the special judge. When conducting personal searches, the judge instructed the prisons’ superintendent and search guards to employ scanners and electronic tools. The judge further stated that the officers are not obligated to act inappropriately, humiliate the accused, use profane language, or strip them naked if such devices are not accessible and a physical search must be undertaken. The Court further highlighted that in addition to the current applicant, several prisoners who were awaiting trial had come before it with comparable grievances. The same judge had instructed the superintendent and search guards of Arthur Road Jail in February of this year after an accused
READ FULL JUDGEMENT: https://bit.ly/3MOgtq8