12,000 prisoners in Karnataka use new online mode to file plea | Bengaluru News – Times of India
More than 12,000 prisoners in Karnataka have used an online facility to submit various petitions, including requests for bail, in the past two months. The e-filing concept was introduced in April to minimise physical visits to courts amid the Covid-19 surge.
BENGALURU: More than 12,000 prisoners in Karnataka have used an online facility to submit various petitions, including requests for bail, in the past two months. The e-filing concept was introduced in April to minimise physical visits to courts amid the Covid-19 surge.
In this system, which is available to people lodged in all 49 prisons in the state, an inmate can file a petition using the link of the court concerned. The court registrar downloads the petition and places the hard copy before the judge.
Alok Mohan, director general of police (prisons and correctional services), told STOI that e-filing was saving time and cutting the risk of physically producing inmates in courts during the pandemic. “Since March 2020, we have been producing inmates through videoconferencing. Hearings and filing of petitions are being done through videoconferencing. This step saves time and money. Taking an inmate to court requires four armed police personnel and a vehicle,” he said.
The total population of 49 prisons is around 15,000. Since March last year, 90 per cent of inmates due for a hearing have been produced before a judge in a videoconference.
Family members and friends, whose visits are restricted because of the Covid-19 crisis, have also been able to speak to inmates on video calls. “The particular facility started in January this year. Till now, 6,800 people have spoken to inmates in different prisons through this arrangement,” Mohan said.
On the number of Covid-19 cases detected in jails during the second wave, he said: “Out of 49 prisons, 32 are Covid-free. In the remaining prisons, we have 102 positive cases. The patients’ condition is good.” The central prisons in Bengaluru, Mysuru and Belagavi have more than 10 cases each, while district jails in Madikeri, Mandya, Chikkamagaluru, Davanagere, Haveri and Bidar have no cases.
New inmates are tested twice. “When they walk in, we take their swab samples and quarantine them in separate barracks. We swab them again after a gap of 14 days. They are shifted to normal barracks only if they test negative,” said an official.
Mohan said that the prisoners aged 45 and above had been given the first vaccine dose. “The second dose is ready. We will also jab the inmates aged between 18 and 45 soon,” he said.