After a confrontation between Taloja prison authorities and inmates over mosquito nets, a special court on Monday ruled that a prisoner’s request for a mosquito net was “genuine” and ordered that he be provided with one.
Sacked police officer Sunil Mane, incarcerated in the Antilia Terrorist Scare and the Mansukh Hiran murder cases, had asked for a net.
“According to the rule, it is necessary for the superintendent of the prison to provide inmates with items relating to their health. The superintendent of the prison did not file his report on this request. The prisoner’s request seems real. Thus, the warden of the prison is responsible for providing a mosquito net to the prisoner as per the prison regulations,” said Special Judge AM Patil.
Since May, sub-suits filed at Taloja Prison have filed more than 15 petitions in various courts look for mosquito nets, indicating that authorities had seized the nets after carrying out a search of their belongings. They had claimed that the prison was prone to mosquitoes and that they feared contracting diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Prison authorities had opposed their demands saying the nets were a security risk because they had a long string that could be used by inmates to harm themselves. Officials said they use other means, including fumigation and repellents, which are available in the prison canteen.
A few detainees had been authorized by previous court orders to use the nets. Inmates said the prison handbook called for “mosquito curtains” to be provided in “malaria localities”, but officials denied this.
Meanwhile, the court rejected a plea by Mane seeking to continue using a chair, citing severe knee pain. The court said Mane had been using the chair for three months due to his medical condition and, according to his medical report, it no longer appears necessary for him to use it.