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24 Jul 2018

WB Assembly amends Act to curb use of mobile phones in correctional homes

WB Assembly amends Act to curb use of mobile phones   in correctional homesMP | Kolkata: The West Bengal Correctional Services (Amendment) Bill 2018 was passed in the state assembly on Monday with an aim to curb the menace of uncontrolled usage of cell phones by the inmates of correctional homes. 
As per the Amendment, "...If any prisoner in a correctional home is found guilty of possessing, operating or using any wireless communication device or its components like a sim card, memory card, battery or charger or any other component of such device or if the prisoner willfully participates or connives entry into or dispatch from the correctional home or instigates the supply thereof, he shall be punished with imprisonment for a period which may extend to three years or with fine or with both." 
The wireless communication device as per the Correctional Administration department includes mobile phone, wifi for personal computer, tablet, laptop, palmtop, and their use for communication through internet, GPRS, email, SMS, MMS or any such mode available for similar purposes.
It may be mentioned that in the West Bengal Correctional Services Act 1992, cell phones or articles with similar functions were not included in the list of 'prohibited article'. 
The amended Bill substitutes the expression of 'any prohibited article' with the expression 'or of any prohibited article or of any wireless communication device.' 
State Correctional Administration minister Ujjal Biswas said the amended Bill will have provisions of punishment for prison officers, who will be found to be involved in the unlawful practice of smuggling cell phones to make it available for prison inmates.

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