//SC guidelines to protect rights of children of women prisoners

SC guidelines to protect rights of children of women prisoners

New Delhi, April 14 (PTI): The Supreme Court on Thursday delivered a set of guidelines to protect the rights of women prisoners and their children in jail asking the Centre and State Governments to amend and incorporate the new directions within three months.

Among the important guidelines, the apex court directed the authorities that pregnant undertrials should be taken to hospitals outside the jail premises for delivery and the birth certificate of the child should not mention jail as the place of birth.

Ensuring that the children of women prisoners are not condemned, a Bench comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal, Justice C K Thakker and Justice P K Balasubramaniyan directed the authorities to follow its guidelines in the letter and spirit, so that the fundamental rights of children to education and healthy living are not violated when they are staying with their undertrial or convicted mother in the jail.

The Bench considered the report of noted jurist Justice V R Krishna Iyer on women prisoners while delivering the judgement on a bunch of PILs seeking reforms in the jail.

Directing that the Centre and the State Governments to file the compliance report in four months, the Court said the State would look after their education in the play school, food and nutrition and medical facilities for the children below six years languishing in jail with their mothers.

It said for children above six years, the authorities will ensure that they should be with their relatives and should be allowed to visit their mothers in prison.