Web-based monitoring of Kerala prisons is on the cards with the high court directing the government to take immediate steps, including online surveillance, to keep track of goings-on inside prisons in the state.
The directions in this regard were given by a division bench comprising Chief Justice V K Bali and Justice P R Raman on Monday while accepting the recommendations made by Amicus Curaie, lawyer P B Sahasranamam, appointed by the court.
Such a step would help put a stop to abuse of prisoners belonging to a political party by those belonging to another outfit in connivance with jail authorities, the bench held.
Directions were issued while disposing suo notu proceedings initiated on the basis of a complaint made by a Kannur central jail inmate that certain prisoners were allegedly being harmed by co-prisoners owing allegiance to another political party with the help of jail staff.
According to Sahasranamam, a surprise check was not possible inside the jails as entry to them was restricted. A continuous monitoring of jails would help check the abuse, he said.
Using web cameras along with motion sensors and wireless technology was the best solution, he said. Such cameras, the size of a match box, can be installed in common places where surveillance is needed.
The Kerala government has given the nod to implement almost all the recommendations. Steps were being taken to introduce web-based monitoring of activities in three central prisons at Thiruvananthapuram, Kannur and Viyyur in the first phase within six months.
A recommendation for handing over the entire security and administration (except overall supervisory roles) to police officers from outside Kerala who had no stake in state politics was not acceptable to the government since it felt it was 'impractical.'