The government had introduced a fresh regulation which enables civil prisoners to secure special accommodation in prisons by making a payment, the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) said.
The Party cited a gazette notification (2288/15) issued on July 12, 2022 which stated that “On the payment of a fee fixed by the Superintendent, any civil prisoner may be permitted by the Superintendent to be placed in exclusive occupation of a room or cell better equipped than an ordinary cell or ward, if such a room or cell is available and the condition of such prisoner warrants the provision of such accommodation.”
The gazette also stated that “with the permission of the Superintendent, any civil prisoner who has been placed in exclusive occupation of a room or cell under paragraph (1) may procure at his expense such furniture for that room or cell as may be approved by the Superintendent.”
frontline Socialist Party Propaganda Secretary Mr. Jagoda said that according to the Gazette notification, if an unconvicted or civil prisoner can make the necessary arrangements in the prison, he/she could arrange for three immediate family or nominated persons to visit him on a weekly basis.
The visiting hours could not exceed fifteen minutes. “Before amending Section 196, the prison granted permission to receive food, clothes, writing papers, and other relevant materials by the prisoner. But with the amendment of the rule, the said facilities are abolished.
“However, under special circumstances on a case by case basis the Superintendent can consider increasing the number of visits, permitting any such prisoner to be visited by a party of more than three of his immediate family or nominated persons, and extending the duration of any visit to more than fifteen minutes.
It was noted that an unconvicted prisoner or civil prisoner should not be entitled to receive any visits on Sundays. Jagoda said the prisoners were ill-treated in the prison and they were slated to remain in the prison cell for nearly 23 hours. Prisoners will get only one hour to remain out of their cells or wards to expose themselves to day light each day for the purpose of exercise. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)