Bombay HC favours 'protected' sex in jails

The reason: There is an alarming rise in the number of HIV positive patients among prisoners in Maharashtra. A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the high court on treatment facilities for HIV positive patients.

Hearing the petition, Justice P B Majumdar and Justice R G Ketkar asked the state government to explore the possibility of facilitating prisoners, who have been lodged for two to three years, to meet their wives sometime every month. 

They were of the view that the increase in HIV positive cases could be due to unprotected  sex. The observations followed after the bench took on record a report submitted by the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Pune last July which said that 22 inmates of Yerwada central prison had tested HIV positive.

The report stated that although a medical officer was available, the inmates were not given proper treatment due to the absence of an expert doctor. 

Advocate Anand Grover, who has been appointed amicus curiae in the case, said: “Whether we like it or not, there is sex in jails. ”

Justice Majumdar observed: “There may be physical needs. See whether a separate place can be given to a prisoner and his wife for a day or two. The government is spending crores of rupees to curb the AIDS menace in jails. Instead, why don’t you take preventive steps?”

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