Mumbai: Tired of millionaire fugitives like Vijay Mallya citing ‘poor prison conditions’ to evade arrest, the Maharashtra government is mulling to construct special cells inside Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail that will meet ‘international and human rights standards’.
The jail block, consisting of individual cell and bogs, will be prepared by pulling down an old building in the prison premises. The two-floored structure will be ‘well-ventilated’ and ‘well-lit by natural sunlight’.
“The proposal is under serious consideration. We want to build a new structure which will adhere to all human rights standards, and will meet the standards of European and British prisons. We don’t want fugitive millionaires, who have duped the country to the tunes of crores of rupees to evade arrest by citing reason of bad prison condition,” a top Maharashtra government official told CNN-News18.
However, no time frame has been given by the government authorities as of now for the completion of the work. “We have not yet issued any tenders in the matter,” an official said.
Several fugitive millionaires, including Vijay Mallya and Mehul Choksi, have given reason of poor prison conditions in India to evade arrest. Recently, a CBI team submitted video evidence to a British court, showing the good condition of the Indian prison. Photos and videos of Barrack number 12 in Arthur Road prison, were submitted to the court.
This prison is spacious, has well-ventilated and well-lit rooms. It is provided with western style toilet, a separate washbasin and shower in the bathroom. Before 2008, it was the office of several investigators and public prosecutors including lawyer Ujjwal Nikam. By a government notification, it was converted into a high security prison which is bullet proof and blast proof.
When asked if the new cells will be built in barrack number 12, the official denied it. “We already have good facilities in the cell,” he said.
Barrack number 12 is the prison facility in Arthur Raod jail premises where VIPs have been kept. Currently, Peter Mukherjea, accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, has been kept there. Former Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Chhagan Bhujbal was also kept there till a few months ago. He is out on bail now.