Reports that Jolly, a remand prisoner in the Kozhikode district jail has been using a mobile phone illegally from the jail has been spreading in the media.
In almost all prisons in Kerala, inmates have access to their relatives and lawyers that a Smart Pay Phone Card provided by a company called Allen Group, according to press release issued by Director General of Police Rishiraj Singh.
The phone number is 10-digit number equivalent to a mobile phone. The phone number that has been published in the newspapers is the number for women inmates in the Female Block in Kozhikode District Jail.
At Jolly’s request, three numbers, including her son’s and her lawyer’s, were allowed on the phone card. The phone call is based on the allocation of these numbers. The inmates are given 250-350 minutes per month.
In the context of COVID-19, the inmates have been able to speak directly to their relatives on the orders of the Supreme Court and the High Court. The frequency and timing of use of the phone was waived as the KELSA had earlier assured the Supreme Court and the Hyper Committee in this regard that the video conferencing or telephone contact would be provided more. This was a general step taken to avoid the mental anguish of prisoners.
North Zone IG could have clarified what the report alleged if the reporter had asked him directly. If the news was published after confirmation about the existing facilities in the jail, the allegations against the jail department could have been avoided. The Prisons Department has requested the media involved to correct its news saying that things are not in order. The Prison Department also sent a press release from the Northern Region DIG in this regard, the press release said.