The Madras High Court granted a convict serving life-imprisonment temporary leave to procreate, PTI reported on Thursday. A division bench of Justices S Vimala Devi and T Krishna Valli granted 40-year-old Siddique Ali two-week leave from the Palayamkottai Central jail in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli after his wife filed a habeas corpus petition.

The bench called on the government to form a committee to analyse the possibility of granting convicts conjugal visits. “It is time the government constitutes a committee to consider possibilities of providing conjugal visits and analyse the merits and demerits of permitting conjugal visits,” it said.

The court cited a resolution passed by the Centre describing conjugal visits as a right and not a privilege. “The right of prisoners for conjugal visits has been recognised in a few countries. If prisons are overcrowded the government should find solution for such problems,” the bench said.

Conjugal visits may be used as an incentive to good prisoners, PTI quoted the bench as saying.