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Home Top News of the Day news Inhuman conditions in prisons: SC asks for questionnaire to be sent to 4 states for prompt reply

Inhuman conditions in prisons: SC asks for questionnaire to be sent to 4 states for prompt reply

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Inhuman conditions in prisons: SC asks for questionnaire to be sent to 4 states for prompt reply

Above: Security outside Tihar Jail. Photo: UNI

While the Supreme Court bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta on Tuesday (October 10) expressed shock that nothing has been done so far about the under-trials in jail who are suffering from illness and/or mental illness, it directed the amicus to prepare a substantive questionnaire regarding the condition of jails.

The bench said that copies of the questionnaire should be given to states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, which have large number of under-trials, for their response.

The court expressed concern as to why these people are not being released, as they should be, according to recommendations in a report of the National Legal Services Authority of India (NALSA).

As per the NALSA affidavit none of those who should have been granted bail and released on the basis of illness and mental ill-health have been released.

The petition, titled: “Inhuman Conditions In 1,382 Prisons” has asked for a manual to be prepared by the relevant ministry which will take into consideration the living conditions and other issues pertaining to juveniles who are in Observation Homes or Special Homes or Places of Safety in terms of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. The issues raised before the bench were particularly those relating to unnatural deaths in jails.

On Tuesday advocate Gaurav Agrawal wanted to know what steps are being taken in the states (counsels for the states were present) regarding over-crowding of jails, training of pension staff and about the last order on the recommendations of bail not being been followed.

At that Attorney General, Union of India, K K Venugopal said: “My advice is thrown into the basket.”

To which Justice Lokur (light heartedly) said: “(Then) Stop giving the advice which is thrown in the basket.”

Venugopal said: “Ask the counsel for Maharashtra and Andra why the pensioners are behind bar and solution for it. Notice should be issued to the state regarding the condition and other concerned matters.”

The bench said that there are at least a thousand people who need to get justice. “Call upon chief secretaries.”

The amicus said: “We will analyse the situation and find a solution.”

The next date of hearing is October 25.

—India Legal Bureau