File photo of policemen patrolling a riot affected area in New Delhi. (Reuters)

The directions came after the jail authorities submitted in the reply filed to the application, that as per the Delhi prison rules, the concerned officials have to approve the notes before they are sent to her lawyers.

  • PTI New Delhi
  • Last Updated: January 22, 2021, 21:46 IST
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A Delhi court Friday directed the Tihar Jail superintendent to appear before it on a plea moved by JNU student and Pinjra Tod member Devangana Kalita seeking permission to send notes to her counsel, which she made from the charge sheet filed against her in a north-east Delhi riots case, in a sealed cover from prison. Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat issued notice to the superintendent to appear along with the legal officer before the court on January 23.

The directions came after the jail authorities submitted in the reply filed to the application, that as per the Delhi prison rules, the concerned officials have to approve the notes before they are sent to her lawyers. To this, advocate Adit S Pujari, appearing for Kalita, said he is aware of the prison rules but she has sought the court’s directions as the notes are a part of their defence evidence and they don’t trust the prison authorities with it.

There is the risk that an accused may pass some personal message for his/her family which is not allowed under the prison rules. But the court should also consider that it is a client-lawyer privilege that may be hampered if the contents are first screened by the jail officials. If this court believes there are such risks, we are okay with the judge perusing the report but we do not trust the jail authorities. That is why we have sought the court’s directions here, Pujari said.

Pujari had earlier told the court that Kalita had made some notes and charts after reading the charge sheet filed against her in the case and sought the court’s directions so that they can be sent to him. Kalita has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the case and a charge sheet, running into more than 17,000 pages, was filed against her in September last year.

Communal violence had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 last year after clashes between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured. Pinjra Tod (Break the Cage) was founded in 2015 with an aim to make hostels and paying guest accommodations less restrictive for women students.

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