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Punjab prisoners can enjoy brief stay with wives

By Samyuktha

Ludhiana, Sep 7: Months after the Bombay High Court suggested to the Maharashtra government to consider the possibility of allowing the prisoners to have have sex with their wives, Punjab is now making arrangements to allow prisoners to stay with their wives for a brief period on humanitarian grounds.

Jail Minister Hira Singh Gabria on Monday, Sep 6 said, wives of prisoners in Punjab will soon be allowed a brief stay with their husbands in jails.

The new jails, which are under construction, are having special barracks for the purpose, the minister informed.

Newly-wed prisoners and men who have spent several years in jail can avail this facility.

In Jan 2010, the Bombay High Court, which was hearing a PIL on treatment facilities for HIV positive prisoners, wondered if the rise in HIV positive cases in prisons could be due to unprotected and unnatural sex.

The court, therefore, ordered the state government to explore the possibility of facilitating prisoners, who have been lodged for two to three years in jails, to meet their wives sometime every month in total privacy.

"There may be physical needs. See whether a separate place can be given to a prisoner and his wife for a day or two. The government is spending crores of rupees to curb the AIDS menace in jails. Instead why don't you take preventive steps?" Justice P B Majumdar and Justice R G Ketkar had said.

However, in the case of Punjab, the details on the nature of the wives' stay are unclear.

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