The Kerala High Court held that the state government must ensure enough space provided in jails to ensure privacy when an accused meets Advocate.
A petition was filed by a lawyer asking the authorities to set up the proper and necessary infrastructure so that prisoners and their attorneys can meet in jails in a discreet and secure setting.
According to the petitioner, privacy must be provided to the attorney and his client while receiving instructions under Section 40 of the Prison Act of 1894, Section 47 of the Kerala Prisons and Correctional Services (Management) Act, 2010, and Rule 827 (2) of the Kerala Prisons and Correctional Services (Management) Rules, 2014.
However, the petitioner argued that there is no privacy when advocates consult with their clients because the meeting location is right next to the jail warden, who can overhear their conversations, and other people can also overhear because it is a popular spot for visitors.
The District Legal Services Authority, Ernakulam, has filed a report dated 23.10.2022 along with the sketch. As per the report, facilities are provided for conversation between the lawyer and inmates. One table and two chairs are laid for discussion of inmates of the jail with the lawyers, and it was mainly observed that the room of the Jail Welfare Officer is not beyond the earshot where the table and chairs are laid.
The department submitted that there are space constraints in certain sub jails.
A division bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly directed the respondents to explore the possibility of providing sufficient space, if required, to adopt the rough sketch submitted by the District Legal Services Authority and issue appropriate directions.
Case: Prasoon Sunny v/s State of Kerala
Citation: WP(C) NO. 30827 OF 2022