Kolkata: In a significant submission, Calcutta High Court was informed on Thursday that female prisoners are getting pregnant during custody inside prisons across West Bengal.
“Prisoners are getting pregnant during their stay in prisons. At least 196 babies were born in different prisons,” the amicus curiae of all correctional homes in the state told informed the high court.
The amicus curiae, who placed two notes before the division bench of Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Supratim Bhattacharya, said: “It is interesting to note that women prisoners, while in custody, are getting pregnant. Subsequently babies are born in prisons. At present, 196 babies are staying in different prisons of West Benga.”
He suggested that male employees of correctional homes should be immediately prohibited from entering enclosures of female prisoners.
“Recently, I visited a women correctional home along with inspector general (special) of correctional homes and secretary of the district legal services authority. I found one pregnant lady and at least 15 other women prisoners staying with their children. They were born in the prison,” the amicus curiae added.
Chief Justice Sivagnanam and Justice Bhattacharya took the notes into record and assigned the matter to another division bench.
The matter is likely to be heard on Monday.
A senior IPS officer of West Bengal correctional services expressed surprise at the amicus curiae’s claim, reported HT.
“Kids less than six years old are allowed to stay with their mothers in jail. But I have no information that women are getting pregnant in the prisons. This is unlikely. If it comes to my notice, I will definitely look into it,” the officer said.