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Delhi HC upholds restriction on prison visits for MCOCA inmates

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New Delhi, Sep 28 (IANS) The Delhi High Court has upheld a decision by prison authorities to restrict inmates booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) to meeting only their family members and no one else.

The decision came in response to a PIL filed by various undertrial prisoners charged with offences punishable under MCOCA, challenging the prison authorities’ decision to restrict their visits.

The prison authorities argued that they are authorised to separate high-risk prisoners or prisoners perceived as security threats and lodge them in high-security wards. They stated that such inmates are permitted to meet their family members in accordance with the law.

The court noted that all prisoners, including high-risk prisoners, are allowed to meet their family members, and provisions for legal aid have been made. The court upheld the decision and disposed of the petition.

The restriction on prison visits for high-risk inmates is in compliance with Rule 1410 of the Delhi Prison Rules, which permits only blood relations, spouses, and authorised lawyers to conduct interviews with high-risk offenders. In this case, 250 prisoners have been incarcerated in such wards.

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