NEW DELHI: A petition has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking to allow conjugal visits in prisons, with the argument that such a step is necessary to meet the fundamental and human rights of those incarcerated and also the spouses of those behind bars who suffer without any fault of their own.Terming the issue raised in the plea as “very interesting”, a division Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Brijesh Sethi on Friday asked the Delhi government and Director General of Prisons to file a response to the petition and listed the matter for further hearing on August 2. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal NagarSocial activist and lawyer Amit Sahni, who filed the petition through advocate N. Hariharan, told the court that denial of the right to conjugal visits abrogates basic fundamental rights as well as human rights of inmates in Delhi prisons. The concept of a conjugal visit is to allow a prison inmate to spend a particular period of time in private with legal spouse, during which they may also engage in sexual activity. In his plea, Sahni said conjugal visitation rights were not provided in prisons in the state though most of the prisoners fall in the category of sexually active age group. “Despite courts taking a progressive approach and various countries allowing conjugal visits considering it an important human right, and also in the light of studies backing conjugal visits as a factor to cut down crimes in jail and reform inmates, the Delhi Prison Rules, 2018 are totally silent on the issue,” the petition said. Also Read – Two persons arrested for killing manager of Muthoot Finance”The conjugal visit cannot be denied to prisoners on the ground of already existing provisions of parole and furlough, which in any case, are not available to undertrial prisoners,” the plea said. The petitioner has sought direction to set aside Rule 608 of Delhi Prison Rule, 2018, which mandate the presence of a prison officer when a prisoner is meeting his or her spouse. He said that his petition is solely guided by the plight of many inmates and their spouses who, though not incarcerated, end up suffering the loss of conjugal relationship and the desire of becoming parents. Conjugal visits can be a preventive step to control sexually transmitted disease and the high rate of sexual crimes in prisons, the petitioner added.
Rabat – French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced on Monday that French President François Hollande has invited King Mohammed VI to pay an official working visit to the republic of France on the dates specified by the Moroccan monarch.The expected visit of King Mohammed VI to France is part of a series of high-level visits between the two countries since the resumption of bilateral relations following a year-long diplomatic crisis.Fabius, who started on Monday a two-day working visit to Morocco, also announced that French Prime Minister Manuel Valls will make an official visit to Morocco on April 10th in an attempt by the French official to revive bilateral relations between the two countries. During his visit, the French chief diplomat was received by King Mohammed VI.The meeting focused on bilateral relations, the regional security environment and notably the fight against terrorism and various regional and international issues of common interest, the King’s Office said in a statement.The audience was attended by Jean Francois Girault, Director of North Africa and Middle East department at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Charles Fries, France’s Ambassador in Rabat, as well as the King’s Advisor Fouad Ali El Himma, Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar and the kingdom’s Ambassador in Paris Chakib Benmoussa.