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Punjab State Commission for Women Applauds High Court's Progressive Decision on Pregnant Inmates

June 14, 2024 06:23 PM

Punjabnewsline, Chandigarh:

The Punjab State Commission for Women has lauded the Punjab and Haryana High Court's ruling that pregnant and lactating mothers should be granted compassionate release from jail even in cases involving serious offences.

The Chairperson Raj Lali Gill expressed strong support for Hon'ble Justice Anoop Chitkara’s decision, emphasizing its alignment with the commission’s efforts to uphold the rights and dignity of women in custody.

Chairperson Raj Lali Gill remarked, "Justice Chitkara's ruling is a significant step forward in ensuring the fundamental rights of expectant and lactating mothers. This decision acknowledges the unique needs of motherhood and prioritizes the health and well-being of both mothers and their children."

The High Court's decision highlights that pregnant women and new mothers should receive temporary bail or suspension of their sentences for up to a year after delivery, even in severe cases. This ruling came as Hon'ble Justice Chitkara granted interim bail to a 24-year-old woman, five months pregnant, incarcerated under the NDPS Act since July last year.

Reflecting on the urgency of improving conditions for women in custody, Raj Lali Gill announced that the Punjab State Commission for Women will soon tour state prisons. "We need to take stock of the conditions faced by women inmates and ensure their rights are protected and their dignity upheld. This visit will help us understand their needs better and advocate for necessary reforms," she stated. She informed that the prison authorities have already been written to provide for the list of pregnant women prisoners and their children.

The Punjab State Commission for Women remains committed to advocating for the rights of women and ensuring empathy and compassion in the justice system.

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