The Delhi High Court was on Tuesday informed by the prison authorities here that inmates can now consult their private or legal aid lawyers through its videoconferencing facilities.
The prison authority’s counsel said that on July 6, a circular was issued which extended the videoconferencing facility earlier available only for consulting legal aid lawyers to all inmates in all the jails to consult their private lawyers.
A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, taking note of the submission, said it was not going into the details of the circular.
“The government should be given free movement in the joints” during the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the Bench remarked when the counsel for the petitioners expressed reservations regarding the circular.
The counsel for the petitioners, challenging a March 25 notification of the prison authority suspending all legal interviews and family visits in jails in view of the pandemic outbreak, argued that there was no clarity in the July 6 circular as to how long it will take to accept a request for videoconference and allotment of a slot for the same.
The court, however, said it was not going to interfere with the circular at this stage as it wanted to see how it worked for a few days.