Nagpur Central Jail tops Maharashtra in conducting ‘e-Mulakat’ for inmates in first 3-months of 2024

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Nagpur: It was an ambitious motive to bring ease for the inmates in prison visitation; however, ever since it was implemented across 60 prisons in Maharashtra – e-Mulakat – it has ultimately resulted in helping inmates repair their family bonds. Marking a significant feat, Nagpur Central Jail has topped Maharashtra by conducting 4,293 e-Mulakat sessions for its inmates in the first three months of 2024.

According to sources, prison data shows that since January this year, the e-Mulakat system became fully functional across 60 prisons in Maharashtra. Altogether, 21,963 out of the total 138,672, which is around 16 percent of the total meetings of inmates with their families and lawyers, have happened over the video conferencing system through the e-Mulakat platform.

The highest number of e-Mulakat meetings, 4,293, were conducted from Nagpur Prison since January.

In January, a total of 1,392 e-Mulakat sessions were conducted from Nagpur Central Jail. In February, the number rose to 1,379, while the month of March witnessed a significant increase in the number of e-Mulakat sessions, with 1,522 such meetings being conducted from Nagpur Prison.

It is pertinent to mention that the e-Mulakat platform is part of the e-prisons system under the Inter-Operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS), launched by the Union Government in 2022 at a total cost of Rs 3,375 crore.

The ICJS comprises a dedicated and secure cloud-based infrastructure operated by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and the National Informatics Centre (NIC). ICJS has five pillars including e-Prisons and Crime and Criminal Tracking and Network Systems for police, e-Forensics for Forensic Labs, e-Courts for Courts, and e-Prosecution for Public Prosecutors.

Under Phase-II of ICJS, the ‘one data one entry’ method is being introduced whereby data is entered only once in one pillar and the same is then made available in all other pillars. Under e-Mulakat, a mechanism is also available where family members or lawyers can book an appointment for an in-person visitation.

To avail both e-Mulakat and visitation booking facility, family members and lawyers have to register using the form on the National Prisons Information Portal. Across the prisons of Maharashtra, in-person visitations happen with visitors seated on the other side of fortified glass and talking to inmates over an intercom under the supervision of the staff. As per the prison manual, only the immediate kin, friends, and lawyers whose names have been listed by the inmate are allowed to visit him or her. These rules are applicable to e-Mulakat meetings which also happen under the supervision of the prison staffers.

Shubham Nagdeve