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SC takes cognisance of women prisoners getting pregnant in jails in West Bengal

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New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Friday took cognisance of the issue of some women prisoners lodged in West Bengal's correctional homes getting pregnant.

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Agreeing to examine the matter, a bench of Justices Sanjay Kumar and Ahsanuddin Amanullah asked senior advocate Gaurav Agrawal to look into the issue and submit a report.

Agrawal has been assisting the top court as amicus curiae in a matter related to overcrowding in jails.

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday ordered the transfer to a criminal division bench of a matter in which the amicus curiae claimed that some women prisoners lodged in West Bengal's correctional homes were getting pregnant and 196 babies were staying at various such facilities.

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Lawyer Tapas Kumar Bhanja, who was appointed amicus curiae by the court in a 2018 suo motu motion on overcrowding in prisons, had submitted a note containing these issues and suggestions before the division bench presided by Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam.

Observing that the note pointed to "certain serious issues", the high court bench said it stated that women prisoners are getting pregnant while in custody.

The note by the amicus curiae stated that there are as many as 196 babies staying in different prisons of West Bengal.

Bhanja has suggested prohibition of entry of male employees of correctional homes into the enclosures of women prisoners. PTI PKS SMN

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