Guidelines issued by the Government for allowing visitor(s) into Jail

On 24.07.2015,
the Government of India issued guidelines for all the States/ Union Territories
for allowing any private individual/ Press/ NGO/
Company, whether Indian or foreigner, into jail for the purpose of making
documentaries, writing articles, interviewing inmates or any other similar
research activity.

The Government of the State/ Union Territory
may allow entry of visitors/ press/ documentary makers into the prison only on
the satisfaction that the documentary/ article/ research will serve the purpose
of creating positive social impact, or relates to prison reforms, or the
Government itself decides to invite press/ filmmakers to cover a particular

Measures to be taken for granting
permission are as follows:

The visitor(s) has to submit an
application to the Jail Superintendent (atleast
30 days before the date of visit). In case of foreigners (atleast 60 days
before the date of visit). And, in case of article by print media (atleast
7 days before the date of visit).
The Jail Superintendent should
immediately send the same to the Home/Prison Department of the State/ Union Territory (which is the competent
authority to grant such permission)
along with his comments.
While granting such permissions,
various guidelines of the Supreme Court (Smt. Prabha Dutt v. UOI and others (1982) 1 SCC 1, Sheela Barse v. State of Maharashtra
1988(1) Bom CR 58, etc.) has to be kept in mind. 
The Jail Superintendent, after
receiving the permission from the Home/Prison Department of the State/ Union Territory may allow such visitor(s)
to see the prisoner in the visitor area. Provided, the visitor(s) has to
sign an undertaking as well as submit a Security Deposit of Rs.1 lakh by
way of a Demand Draft/local Bankers Cheque in the name of the Jail
Superintendent of the concerned jail. 
may be allowed only Handycam/Camera/Tape
recorder or equipments directly connected with the purpose of the visit.
Tripod/stand mounted cameras/equipments should not be allowed.  No
mobile phones/papers/ book/pen etc. should be allowed.
The Jail Superintendent (or the
next senior most officer) should himself be present while the visitor(s) are touring
the prison or interviewing the inmates.
No videography/ photography should
be allowed which may create potential security risk or social/communal
The visitor(s) has to handover all
their equipments like Handycams, Dictaphone, Camera, tape recorder 
or any other equipment to the Jail Superintendent for a period of three
days after the completion of his visit.
The Jail Superintendent is
empowered to delete any portion of the recording which he feels is
objectionable. After careful scrutiny/editing of the said recording, the
equipment shall be returned to the visitor.

The visitor(s) has to seek a “No
objection certificate” from the State Government/Union Territory Administration/Head
of Prison Department for publication/ release of the said film/ research
paper/ articles/ books.
In case of any violation of these
guidelines, or the undertaking given by the visitor(s), the Jail
Superintendent is empowered to forfeit the security deposit and initiate
suitable legal action against the said visitor(s).

Undertaking to be submitted by the
Visitor(s) to the Jail Superintendent:

The visitor

Carry  only  one 
recording  device  as  permitted  by  the 
Jail  Superintendent. 
Not carry any hidden recording devices while visiting the jail. 
Follow the journalistic conduct as prescribed by the Press Council of India
while writing the news article/magazine.
Publish only the vetted and
approved material of the research paper/ documentary/ film/ article/ book
after obtaining the ‘No Objection Certificate’ from State Government/ Union Territory Administration/ Head of
prison Department.
Release  the 
film/  documentary  only  after  clearance 
from  the  Jail  Superintendent  is 
Handover all the equipments (Handy
cams/ Cameras/ tape recorders/ Dictaphone etc.) to the Jail Superintendent
after completion of the visit and collect them after 3 days. 
Not  release  the 
documentary/  articles/  papers/  books  or 
any  content  thereof  to  the  media/ 
social  media which is different  than 
the vetted material.
Immediately  withdraw 
from  circulation  the  documentary/  article/ 
paper/  book  or  any  content  thereof, 
if  called 
upon to do so by the authorized officer of the State Government/Union
Enclose a  Demand 
Draft/  Bankers  Cheque  of  Rs.1  lakh 
and  undertake  that if there of violation of any 
guidelines/ instructions  of  the  Authorities, 
the  same may be forfeited. 


-Ministry of Home Affairs
Source: Legal news India

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