In what could be termed as a landmark judgment, the Punjab and Haryana High Court earlier this week allowed jail inmates to have sex with their partners as long as they were married and wanted to have a child.
The order, made public on Tuesday, stated that it was a fundamental right of convicts and jail inmates to have conjugal visits or artificial insemination for progeny.
The judgment was delivered while hearing a petition filed by a couple of Jasvir Singh and Sonia, both currently lodged in the Central Jail of Patiala. The couple was awarded a death sentence for kidnapping and killing a teenage boy of belonging to rich family in Hoshiarpur. A hefty ransom was demanded for the return of the kidnapped boy.
The duo appealed to the High Court to allow them to stay together and resume their conjugal life in order to have progeny. They also appealed the High Court to intervene in the matter in order to ensure that adequate arrangements are made by the jail authorities in this regard.
Jasvir argued that he is the only son of his parents, adding that he and his wife were arrested within eight months of their marriage. He further argued that his demands were not merely for personal sexual gratification
“A society which is currently involved in academic and intellectual debates on ‘gay-rights’ or the recognition of ‘third-gender’, cannot shy away nor can it keep concealed under the carpet the pragmatic concept of conjugal visits of the jail inmates,” the court observed.
“To say it differently, time has come and before it is too late, the stake-holders must sit together and deliberate upon this crucial subject and take a holistic view.”