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Harsul Prison in India Adds New Conference Room for Under Trials

August 11, 2014

The Times of India newspaper recently published a report stating that the Aurangabad Central Jail 'Harsul', in India, which is currently accommodating around 1,600 inmates, will soon add a video conferencing room for the under trials.

The main reason for sanctioning another video conferencing room is to lower the expenses involved in sending the prisoners to courts, and also to safeguard the security of the under trials, according to the officials.

District collector Vikram Kumar, said, "The ultimate aim behind sanctioning a video conferencing room at the prison is to cut down the expenses and the security risks involved in ferrying the undertrials to and from the court.”

Kumar said that they have asked the jail superintendent to submit the proposal at the earliest so that funds can be allotted from the District Planning and Development Committee (DPDC).

The Harsul jail currently houses 1,600-odd inmates, of which 88 are women and approximately two-third is under trials. Due to lack of proper legal aid, many under trials are held in the prison for years together.

Vinod Shekhdar, Aurangabad Central Jail Superintendent said that the new video conference room will be specifically used for under trials, who are being tried at distant courts from within as well as outside the state. This new facility will also speed up the trials.

According to the sources, this new conference room was granted after an incident where a criminal on police record and a MCOCA suspect escaped while being brought back from Ahmednagar court.

A senior prison official on the conditions of anonymity said that they totally depend on the city and rural police for escorting the under trials to courts for hearings but many a times they are not available, so these under trials miss their trial date, causing further delay in the finalizing of the cases in the court of law.

Senior police officials from the city and also the rural police welcomed the new initiative by the district collector.

Edited by Adam Brandt