Justice Surya Kant further directed that apart from formulating the scheme for this purpose, the Committees would also identify the categories of inmates entitled to such visits.

The order, made public on Tuesday, was passed on a petition by a couple lodged in Patiala jail. While Jasvir Singh is facing the gallows, his wife Sonia is serving a life sentence in a kidnapping and criminal conspiracy case and had prayed to be united for the sole purpose of getting a progeny.

It was further held that the committee to be headed by a former judge of the High Court would include a social scientist and an expert in jail reforms and prison management as its members.

The committee shall evaluate options of expanding the scope and reach of open prisons where certain categories of convicts and their families can stay together for long periods and recommend necessary infrastructure for actualizing the same.
The court further directed that the committee would also recommend amendments to rules and policies for ensuring parole and furlough for conjugal visits.

It would also spell out eligibility conditions for such relief and classify convicts dis-entitled to conjugal visits.

"The committee shall suggest ways and means for enhancing the facilities for frequent linkage and connectivity between the convict and his/her family and shall prepare a long term plan for modernization of the jail infrastructure consistent with the reforms to be carried out in terms of this order coupled with other necessary reforms," the Judge said.
Justice Kant also set a one-year-deadline for the committees to make its recommendations after visiting major jail premises.

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