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Women getting pregnant in West Bengal jails, 196 babies born, Calcutta high court told

While hearing a peculiar case of the rising number of pregnancies among female prisoners during their custody inside prisons, the Calcutta High Court was urged to bar the entry of male employees of the correctional homes inside the enclosure of women prisoners.

“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 Bengal,” amicus curiae of all correctional homes in the state informed the Calcutta high court, according to a Hindustan Times report.

An amicus curiae is an individual or an organisation who assists a court by providing information, expertise, or insight associated with the case.

After placing two notes before the Calcutta High Court’s division bench of Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Supratim Bhattacharya, the amicus curiae urged to prohibit the entry of male staffers of the correctional homes inside the enclosure of women prisoners.

“Recently, I visited a women’s correctional home along with the 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”, HT quoted the amicus curiae.

At present the matter has been assigned to another division bench in the High Court. The next hearing in the case will be held on Monday. According to a senior IPS officer of West Bengal correctional services, if a woman with a child less than six years old is arrested, then the child is allowed to stay with the mother. Expressing concern over the matter, the IPS officer also said that he has no information in this regard and assured of taking strict action if it comes to his notice.

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