The Tribune/January 30, 2006
Now, online booking to meet prisoners
Amritsar, January 29
The Amritsar Central Jail authorities have introduced on line and telephone booking for meeting prisoners, including hardcore criminals, lodged in the high security jail. This is for the first time in Punjab or perhaps in the country that such a system is being adopted in a jail.
Now, even advocates will have to bring an attested copy of the power of attorney duly signed by the prisoner and attested by a jail gazetted officer or Magistrate in order to meet prisoners for their legal interviews in the high security Amritsar Central Jail. Although this clause was there on paper, it was never implemented.
A number of steps have been taken to streamline the procedure of meeting prisoners. Advocates can meet prisoners between 4.00 pm and 5.00 pm on any working day except Saturday, Sunday and gazetted holidays. About 25 prisoners will be allowed at a time for the interview and a maximum of 100 prisoners can avail of the facility per day, said Mr Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh, SSP, Jails.
He said interviews would be arranged on a first-come-first-served basis. He said interviews would be booked on the main gate of the jail from 9.00 to 10.00 am for undertrials and from 2.00 to 3.00 pm for convicts. The facility of booking on telephone for an interview would be available on all working days (between 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm) on telephone number: 0183-2591973. A person could book his/her interview through the e-mail, (firstname.lastname@example.org). He said this facility would benefit people coming from far-flung areas, besides controlling the heavy rush of relatives who came to meet prisoners.
For meeting foreigner prisoners, including those of Pakistan and Bangladesh, special permission was required.
He said there would be separate timings for meeting undertrials and convicts. For undertrials it would be from 10.00 to 12.00 am while for convicts it would be from 3.00 to 5.00 pm. Each prisoner would be allowed to hold two meetings per week with his relations/friends. The duration of each interview would be 25 minutes and each prisoner would be permitted a maximum of three visitors at a time.