PATNA: A local court in India has granted leave to a murder convict serving life sentence in jail to try for a baby, a rare judgment recognizing prisons’ conjugal rights, local media reported today.
The Madras High Court in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu granted a two-week leave to 40-year-old Siddique Ali on Thursday while acting on a petition filed by his wife Meharaj, 32. The court announced to consider additional leave to the prisoner if required.
The prisoner is currently serving life imprisonment in the central prison in Tirunelveli district, some 2,637 km south of Patna. The couple has no children and the wife had requested temporary leave for her husband to help in infertility treatment, court sources said.
“The convict’s wife’s legitimate expectation to have a child cannot be declined,” the Madras High court was quoted as saying in the local media, adding “preliminary investigation has found that there was a possibility of the prisoner having a child”.
“It is time the government constitutes a committee to consider possibilities of providing conjugal visits and analyse the merits and demerits of permitting conjugal visits,” it said.
The court added that the right of prisoners to conjugal visits had been recognised in a few countries. “If prisons are overcrowded the government should find solution for such problems,” the court said.
The court also directed the state government to have a committee to examine how conjugal visits can be permitted in jails, as it is in many other countries, the NDTV reported.
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